Grandpa’s Life and Memories
I sat down at the dinner table with beautiful red and pink flowers that my dad got my mom for Valentine’s Day sitting in front of me. My parents were talking about me over the sizzling chicken that was frying in the pan for dinner. I picked up the phone and asked my mom for My grandparents’ number, “It is 489-5235.” I dialed the number and waited for him to pick up, “Why hello, Emerson Residence. Who is this?” and our conversation began with Grandpa laughing.
My grandpa was born in 1936, which means he is 80 years old right now. When he was little, he lived in Pennsylvania. Now he lives in Arroyo Grande. We are very close and I usually spend the night there when my parents are on a date. He plays pool and sometimes he takes my dad and brother shooting. He was probably wearing a polo shirt that was yellow and brown pants, and he was also probably wearing a pair of brown leather shoes; grandpa is classy. He laughed and his voice was raspy and seemed happy. I could barely hear him, and he kept asking what I had said again. However, I do sometimes talk quietly.
I started off my conversation with a quick and simple question, “So Grandpa, what did you do for fun when you were my age?”
It took him a little while to remember, and then he answered, “Ohh, we played baseball, and went fishing, and explored the hills around the town. Me and my friends think that we explored a cave that the Indians might have lived in.”
“That is sooo cool, I wish that I had caves by my house that I could climb and play in. So can you tell me what it was like up by the cave and around it, like were there many trees?”
“Oh yes, there were many trees. It was like halfway up a hillside, and there was a meadow, and then on the other side of the meadow there was a cave”
That was very interesting to me, and it reminds me of the mountain behind my house although there are no caves. I continued on with the questions. “Do you remember your favorite movies from when you were my age?”
“Ohh my goodness sakes, no. I used to go to the movies with my friends and see cowboy movies.”
“So I want to bring the conversation back to the cowboy movies. Did they play anything else?”
“Oh yes, we had 2 movie houses in our town. They payed other movies too. It cost 10 cents to go and see a movie. We usually went on Saturdays and saw western movies. One theater was called Ford, F-O-R-D, and the other one was called Ritz, R-I-T-Z, like the Cracker. We usually had a western film on Saturday.” I was surprised that he went to the movies very often because I barely ever go.
I asked, “Did you have any special family trips when you were my age, like did you go to an amusement park or national park?”
Grandpa answered, “No, you know, you know, we didn’t have a car so we couldn’t go on long trips like that.”
“Really? Did many people not have cars that lived by you?” I said surprised.
“Not really, we didn’t have car and I am trying to think if my uncle had a car, and I think, I think he did. No, not many people had cars back then.” Now everyone has cars. It is hard to find someone who doesn’t have a car.
Then I was wondering if he did any sports like me. “Did you do any clubs or sports for your school? And what were they?”
He answered enthusiastically, “Yes, I played football for the school team. I also ran track races like the 100 yard dash and the 220 yard dash. However, I wasn’t good enough for the basketball team. And there was no swim team because most of us didn’t know how to swim.”
I was surprised at the fact that they didn’t know how to swim. “Really? Did you have any public pools or lakes around your town?”
“Well, we had a river that flowed right past our town. It was called the Allegheny River, A-L-L-E-G-H-E-N-Y. Do you want to know why it was called that? Well, it was because the Allegheny flowed past my town and met the Monongahela River, M-O-N-O-N-G-A-H-E-L-A, and when they met, they started the Ohio River that flows down to the Mississippi River.” I thought that this was strange because if they have a river right by their town, why didn’t they know how to swim.
I knew that I might start a job soon, and I was wondering when he started a job. “So, at what age did you get your first job, and what was it?”
He answered, “Oh, well, I think I delivered newspapers at the age of 14,”
I interrupted him, “Oh that is so cool. Right now We only have mail carriers.”
“Yeah but there were only paperboys. They were all boys and they had a certain part of town that they delivered paper to. Several of my friends delivered paper too. One of my friends worked at the movie theater, and you know what his job was, he had to scrape the gum from under the seats. It was pretty expensive to go to the movies. Here let me make it easier, I delivered paper 6 days a week, and for one month I got 4 dollars.” I was astonished how much he worked and how little money he earned.
“Thank you, Grandpa, for your time and I really enjoyed talking to you.”
“Oh, no problem, and if you have anymore questions, just call me.” And that was the end to Grandpa explaing his cool and interesting background to me. I know that I can always count on him when I need answers to any other questions, and I love talking to him. Overall, his background is way different than mine, but he is the best grandpa that I could ask for because he is supporting and caring.