Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Remembering Grandaddy



Climbing out of the dusty old Chevy in the heat of mid-August, I followed Grandaddy into the canopy of tall green corn. He reached for an ear that normally would have been creamy yellow, but instead a purple bubbling mass was erupting from the shuck. That was the first time I ever saw the the large man cry. It was corn blight, and it ruined many a farmer and a sizable seed corn company that year of 1958.



Back in the old gray Chevy, dust floated in the air after Grandaddy seated himself. He never drove fast enough to create much of a breeze, and the slow speed allowed him the time to check out every one's crops on both sides of the road. He would steer toward whatever direction he was gazing, always veering back just before entering the ditch along the narrow road. "I 'spect Marguarette'll have dinner ready bout now" he said. As we turned into the driveway of the house in town, the Maxwell House Coffee can in the middle of the floor board rocked dangerously. It was truly a disgusting thing, serving as a spittoon for God knows how many days of his chewing tobacco. I righted the can on the hump and read aloud "good to the last drop". Grandaddy laughed, making his large round belly shake under his bibbed overalls.

He's been gone for many years, and I still miss him.

13 comments:

tricia said...

I love this! Great writing-- and the top photo takes me back to childhood. Thanks for sharing.

Rikkij said...

Char- I love how Grandads had the ability to just miss the ditch a thousand times. My grandpa sat on his canvas chair on the porch and spit off the edge in front of him. or so he thought. Just a dirty brown trail against a dull green floor. Thanks for bringing those memories back. ~rick

koe said...

Char - Remembering Grandaddy is a very touching posting. . . maxwell house spittoons and corn blight notwithstanding. You did a wonderful job on this. My own grandpa was blind, loved to listen to the yankees on the radio.

Beth said...

A very sweet entry, Char, and thanks for sharing these memories.

mo.stoneskin said...

Cute little post. Are you saying that he would nearly crash into the ditch regularly? Classic.

Nancy said...

i never heard of corn blight!!

Tressa Bailey said...

That was a beautiful word-picture. I can't imagine his emotion when he saw the corn, but courage and hope are the first two job requirements for farmers.

bernthis said...

I love reading stories like this b/c they are just so completely different from the surroundings in which I was raised. I'm sorry he's gone.

Woman in a Window said...

Char, I love this. I love it all. The surprise and sadness of the purple spew out of corn, that last minute veer to avoid ditch (I know that movement!!!) and the can good to the last drop. I love it. Write it out like this more often. God, that was great.

♥ Braja said...

Char that was lovely....xx

~PakKaramu~ said...

Pak Karamu reading and visiting your blog

Fancy Schmancy said...

Awesome pictures, as usual. I just tagged your for an "award". Please come to my website to accept it!

Char said...

Thanks, you all! *blink blink*. I just love it when you're so complimentary! I am soooo flattered.