GRANDPA CHRISTIAN AND ME
The picture of me was made in the 70's. Long hair and glasses with bell bottom jeans.
Pa was my first love and both pictures were taken when Uncle Roy, his only son had moved them to Nashville so that he could take care of his parents. He did a really good job.
I had bought my first car a 1973 blue Nova. I also had made my way to Nashville from Smith County after I graduated from High School.
Grandma was a fantastic cook and ever chance I got I would head out Dickerson Road to where they live on a farm in a dead end holler.
Pa had his chickens and rabbits and always had a big vegetable garden each year.
I got off from work at 3pm so I would have time to go have a good dinner and a pleasant evening with Pa. We would sit with our heads together and talk and laugh as Grandma did the dishes and then she would head to watch television. We enjoyed each others conversation more.
He always called me Babe and said I was his only grandchild who would always give him a hug and kiss no matter what. I just could not imagine why the others were not so loving to such a wonderful Pa.
He would get up early before dawn each morning and perk him some coffee on the wood stove and then sit and as he would call it STUDY while he would consume the whole pot. He always liked his coffee black none of that sissy stuff for him.
Grandma would complain about his tobacco habit. He always chewed tobacco and would get a tin can to spit into. My father also would complain about his nasty habit when he would come to visit us. To me it was just part of Pa and he was always very careful and never spit any of it anywhere but the can. So I could not figure what was the big deal.
One leg was shorter than the other and he walked almost everywhere he went so when we no longer lived with them, I would watch the roads and could spot him miles away. We lived with them until I was in the third grade.
Being a "rounder" my Father was not at home very much so I think Pa stepped into the place as being the man I would always look up to.
At Christmas, he would come and spend Christmas Eve and tell us how he had to help Santa get down the crook in the stove pipe. He would also have to help dust the soot off Santa. He never failed to make Christmas magical and that was the time of year we would enjoy sacks of fruit and nuts he would bring us children.
The most usual and quite memorable time was when Dad said I could not go to a Christian family reunion in next county. As usual, Dad left to enjoy his own devices and as soon as he left, I put on my red checked sun dress and waited for Pa.
It was not very long until he pulled in the drive with Old Dan his mule hitched to his wooden wagon. Grandma had packed boxes of goodies and Pa helped me get in the back of the wagon and off we went.
As we made our way up Chestnut Mound Hill and beyond, he looked at me and I was beginning to turn as red as the checks in my dress. He pulled old Dan over and took out his knife and cut the biggest tree branch that his knife would allow to be cut. He then stuck it in the cracks of the boards and there I was all in comfortable shade.
We ate and drank and laughed at everything. Then we started across Center Hill Dam . Tourist were hopping out into the road taking our picture. How I wish I had one to share with you. We finally made it to the reunion but everyone had left. The other members of the family had cars not mule and wagon.
We visited with his sister for awhile and checked on his parents graves and then he said we needed to head home. I guess he thought we would make better time but it was pitch dark and I had the job of watching for cars so he could get as far off the road as possible.
Then this one car came along and got really close. The window was rolled down as it was summer and the man behind the wheel said "You better get in this car".
Oh no it was Dad. He gave Pa a cursing and put me in the back seat. I laid over and fell asleep on the way home.
The next morning Dad gruffly announced he heard Pa go by the house at midnight. I was expecting an encounter with a switch but for some reason unknown to me it never happen. Dad didn't even ground me.
The Kitty Justice is I can still hear Pa's laughter and the wind and sun on my face on our reunion trip.