Friday, October 07, 2005

Lessons from a Decent Man

I wish we lived closer to my children's grandfather, my dad. He is a "decent man," in SigCarlFred's preferred phrase. And I wish his father hadn't died before I was born. When Pa died, not only was the church full for the funeral, but the story says that people were three deep around the church windows.

Pa quit school in the seventh or eighth grades; they were studying fractions, and he didn't like it, and there was farm work to be done, and he left. Years later he went back to night school to study fractions. He mastered fractions, and then stopped again. So why go back if he wasn't going to bother to get his G.E.D. anyway? Simple: he had not been able to stand the thought that he had once quit on something because it was hard. ...continue reading...

Pa came from the trashiest of white trash scumbag backgrounds. He had twenty-two siblings and half-siblings, and his father used to beat his children and his wives (he had three in succession) with barbed wire. Yet Pa died as the most beloved man for miles around, and never once did he beat his children. I just wish I had my own memories of him -- though of course I cherish all the memories that my dad has shared with me in his stories of Pa down through the years.

Take the time to read about somebody else's grandfather. And I hope you too are blessed with knowing a decent man.

(Dessie's book has the story of Pa's transformation, thanks to the indomitable Granny; and marital prudence precludes my stealing her thunder.)

Hat tip: The Anchoress


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