Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Today while working on the mountain, I was given pause while pounding nails with Grandpa's red hammer. The handle is made from a smooth branch he found. Then he painted it red and affixed to it a sixteen-ounce hammer-head. It felt very good in my right hand. Grandpa's best saying, in my opinion, is:

"Anything worth painting, is worth painting red."

It's true. His house is red, his tool-shed is red, his axes are red, his tractor is red, his barn, of course, is red, and his hammer is red. I could go on and on. The siding that I've been putting up, even though it's not his house, will soon be painted this same color red.

I used to think that I was the next Bob Dylan. I always wondered where I might find my Woody Guthrie/mentor figure. I recently realized I'm not Bob Dylan or even close. My lineage is luckier, though, for my own Grandpa is my "Woody Guthrie." He's no folk-singer, or famous personality. He's just a chivalrous and humble horseman who likes to paint things red for some reason. He's sure to be the first person elected to my own, personal "Sandman Hall of Fame." Well, he might have to be elected as the second, now that I think about it. My other Grandpa--Grandpa Herak--will probably be first (he died in 1987). There was, perhaps, never a gentler Croation-farmer Soul than he.

Tonight Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Olga came over to play Whist. The women-folk gave me and Grandpa a firm flogging at the table. Afterwords Gramps bequeathed to me his old, wool jacket. You can guess what color it is.

Other Grandpa facts:

1. He was a WWII war hero, who still despises all wars, since he knows first-hand how brutal, classist, and mostly unnecessary they are.

2. His mom died shortly after giving birth to him eighty-five years ago.

3. He was a full-time sheepherder as a young boy.

4. He boxed in college. That's how his nose got flattened.

(Coming soon... "Grandma facts.")


Anonymous said...

do you have many grampa songs?

Anonymous said...

I have one, but it's about both he and my grandma. Here's a sample lyric pertaining to him:

I remember all the laughter
Rakin' hay on Grandpa's tractor
Sometimes he'd talk about the war
He always left me wantin' more...