I was not particularly close with my Mom’s father. I seemed to be at the end of a long line of nieces and nephews all vying for attention from The Man.
I was okay with that.
I know he was a tough guy working at a slaughterhouse for many years. I guess that’s where my father met him. Dad had nothing but the best to say about Grandpa. My favorite story was the one that saw both my Dad and Grandpa taking on a bar full of rowdies in an epic battle in the middle of Florence Avenue. At least that was the version I got handed down through the years.
I still want to believe it I guess.
I actually lived with my mom and grandparents for a year, completing my junior year of high school at Bell High.
I never liked living in L.A.
My father’s father was a quiet, pensive man, but he always seemed to loosen up around me and we spent most of our time together on the front porch laughing. One of his favorite things was to teach me cuss words. I learned the Spanish word cabron. If you know Spanish, you know that I learned a very bad word that you don’t want to say out loud.
Especially if you’re four years old.
But we would be sharing a typically sunny day in Ventura on the front porch. Grandpa was smoking his pipe and I was visually patrolling the parameters until I spotted an intruder in the form of the next door neighbors’ German Shepherd.
I jumped down the three steps to the ground and fearlessly headed for the dog on the sidewalk.
“Go home cabron! Go home cabron!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
Grandpa would be howling with glee and of course, Grandma was next on the porch saying something that didn’t look quite so good for Grandpa.
I returned to the porch triumphantly as the dog scampered off.
I was welcomed with a big hug and a kiss. And lots of laughter.
I only met my stepfather’s Dad one time. It was on a trip we made to Colorado where my stepdad had to complete some training at Peterson Air Force Base. We didn’t interact much at all on that trip and it was the only time I would ever see him. He worked for many years at the Coors brewery in Golden, Colorado. This was a tiny little town in the Rocky Mountains and a bit of a culture shock for an L.A. boy. But I loved the mountains, even though I’m not a cold-weather guy.
I think it would be totally badass if you could have mountains with snow that wasn’t cold, so you could climb to the summit in sweat shorts and a t-shirt. Then you would have the great accomplishment of the climb with out that pesky uncomfortable cold butting its way in. Maybe a lake or two to dip in when the sun got too hot at 20,000 feet or so. Maybe I am full of shit, or maybe, just maybe, I underestimated the creative powers that this morning’s bowl of Grape OG Kush (coming in at a respectable 20% THC level) provided me.
P.S. Today is original music Monday henceforth to be known as Music Monday as I have run out of my recorded original songs. I will begin posting a song every Monday. I am going to wake and bake, then play one of the songs off the playlist I posted in my Feb 10th post “Anger.”
This week is Randy Travis’ He Walked on Water. Its about a Grandpa.
Hope you like it.