Monday, December 27, 2010


His overalls were faded blue and oil-stained
And had dirt and grease smears on the seat
An old John Deere cap sat crooked on his brow
And a toothpick was always between his teeth

He feigned surprise and fear at the word “boo”
And he’d give me shiny pennies for good luck
I loved bouncing around next to him on the seat
As we drove around the farm in his old truck

Bellowing from the pew in church on Sunday
Above all others his bass voice would ring
He was talented; a naturally gifted musician
And he could make any instrument sing

I fascinated in watching him concentrate
As his hands and his fingers shook
While he set up an old skinny bamboo pole
And threaded twine through a fishing hook

His grin was enhanced with certain wisdom
And years of laughs and earned wrinkles
His voice and gestures could animate a story
As his eyes held those mischievous twinkles

He loved to piddle and tinker around in his shop
To fix up machines and old engine parts
And a puttering rusty red riding lawn mower
Made for a mighty fine kid’s go-cart

Like a hawk, he’d watch me use his pocketknife
As he instructed me on how to whittle a stick
Afterwards I sit on his lap in his rocking chair
While we sipped a root beer and talked for a bit

He’d tickle me till I had tears in my eyes
From laughing and having so much fun
And he could pull a quarter from his pocket
Faster than a cowboy could draw his gun

He let me sneak popsicles from the freezer
And taste range cubes and chicken feed
My favorite place was next to him in the garden;
He’d scoop out the dirt and I’d drop in a seed

He hung up a rope from the rafter in the barn
So I could swing high and land in the hay
He gave the best horsey rides around on his back
And he never seemed too tired or busy to play

His hands were rough with scars and calluses
Weathered from hard labor over time
And though my hands were small in comparison
I remember how gently his held onto mine

The years that separated us never seemed to matter
For he was my hero, and I was his Kellie Jean
The bond between a grandfather and his special girl
Was unbreakable; one nothing could come between

In November ’04 he left behind a legacy of family
When his spirit went home to Heaven above
There will never be another like my Pop-Pop;
A generous soul of extraordinary friendship and love

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