Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Childhood Memories, Part 2

I had such a good time strolling memory lane for my last post I thought I'd do it again. This time I am going WAY back. In fact, I've been meaning to write this down for a long time and it occurred to me I could do it here. I'm sure if I had written this years (ok, decades) ago it would be a much more comprehensive list but if I wait any longer my list will just shrink even more. I even had to do research, like a real writer. Okay, I called my dad. This post is all about my paternal grandfather, Addison Buford Crocker, and the memories I have of him. It won't be a narrative, because I remember him in short segments. So, that is how I'll share him now.

My first memories of him revolve around his chair. He had a brown recliner that we sat in together and watched TV. Then we'd request ice cream from my mom and she'd bring it to us. Normally we ate neopolitan. The strawberry part was my favorite. In fact, it still is.

Another good thing about his chair was that if I got in trouble with my mom, and could make it to his chair, I was out of trouble. I was always safe in his arms, he wouldn't let her punish me.

Once, my parents took me out to eat at the fish camp. When we got home I climbed in Papa's lap for my nightly ice cream treat. He told me that you should never eat fish and ice cream on the same day, it would make you sick. I insisted on the ice cream. I threw up all night long. I have NEVER had fish and ice cream on the same day again, and I never will.

Papa helped in potty training me, but not in a hands on type of way. He said I could start going places around town with him when I didn't wear a diaper anymore. My mom says it didn't take long before we were traveling companions.

Papa had an old, white Chevrolet truck. The bed of the truck had wood slats instead of a metal bottom like you see today. There were small pieces of wood missing and I enjoyed watching the road or the field beneath the truck as we flew along.

I learned a valuable lesson in the back of that truck. Never blow a bubble gum bubble when you have ponytails flapping all around, flying along in the wind.

Papa always dressed nicely. I remember him in overalls too, but for the most part I remember him in a nice white dress shirt and slacks. He also wore a belt with his initials. ABC. I assumed he put ABC on everything in order to honor the first three letters of the alphabet. It confused me to see others mix all those letters up on their monogrammed items.

Papa and I used to eat at Self's Cafe. He always ordered me a BLT and we always sat at the counter. It was off Main Street and you parked by the railroad tracks.

Papa always had a special treat in his pockets. If you were extra good you'd get your choice of a caramel square or a silver bell. Silver bells have since been renamed Hershey's kisses, but I think they tasted better when they were silver bells. He kept his stash on the second shelf of the china cabinet. For years it still smelled like caramel when you opened it. It might still.

Papa and I liked to get up early and have coffee and egg sandwiches. I drank my coffee from a plastic red mug with Scooby Doo on the front. (That mug was later repurposed as a toothbrush holder and served faithfully for years.) I've never drank coffee without him. Can't stand the stuff! Mama says I would eat livermush with him too. If I did, I only did he because he did first.

Papa and I liked to take walks across the road to visit my cousin Ron and Aunt Carolyn. I'm sure we'd have visited Uncle Ronnie too, but he was at work.

Papa hated prickly pears. He'd throw a shovel in the back of the truck and we'd go off looking for those tresspassers in the pasture. When we spotted one he'd dig it up and put it in the back with me. I don't really remember what we did with them but I am sure they didn't get the chance to spread.

Along those same lines, he also couldn't tolerate fall webworms in his pecan trees. They had to be removed and burned.

Papa's room is where our piano room is now. He had a high, four poster bed, if I remember right. And he had a bolero type, leather rope tie that hung on one of the posts. I liked to get it down and play with it. His bedspread was white.

He always bought me gifts for special occasions. Well, I thought he did anyway. Those were my favorite things, usually clothes. I learned much later that my mom bought it all and put his name on something.

Papa got me my first pet. I barely remember some dogs chained up down at the smoke house. I think they were brown. My dog, Scooby Doo (of course!), was a puppy to those dogs. We brought him in when he was tiny, and I was tiny too. Apparently he peed on the floor and was banished to the outside pretty quickly. Me and Scooby had about 12 good years together. He was a small white dog with a black tail. Eventually, as he aged, his tail turned white too.

To pass the time, because we both had a lot of it on our hands back then, we'd sit on the front porch swing. We played a game where one of us would pick cars and the other would have trucks. Then we'd count how many of each that passed by. We lived out pretty far and didn't get a whole lot of traffic so it wasn't a fast paced game. Trucks usually won.

We'd also sit out there at night a lot too. Remember, we didn't have air conditioning. He'd swing me til I fell asleep and then usually my dad would carry me up to bed. I remember wearing blue Raggedy Ann pajamas. He might have given them to me! ;)

I remember being at my maternal grandmother's house one night. She was babysitting us, which was EXTREMELY rare. My parents were at the hospital with Papa. It was August 1975 (I had to get that date from dad). Papa had a stroke and passed away. I remember lots of people coming to our house and it bothered me that they went in his room. He didn't let just anybody in his room. I was about to start 1st grade.

I may remember a few more tidbits, and if I do I'll add them here. But, for the most part, this is what I remember about Papa.


Ryan and Tonya said...

Sweet memories. Thanks

Myrtle's Turtles said...

Wow...tears in my eyes! As I was reading I started thinking that I should start writing down my memories of my father. I am starting to forget them. Then the end of your post hit me. My father died when I was 6 in 1979. i have that day engraved my heart and mind! Reading your post makes me want to remember those memories and collect them in little pockets for bad days. Thank you for taking me back to a lovely place!

The Crazy Coxes said...

What sweet memories!

You'll be so glad you wrote them down!

Lynn said...

Lisa, I wish I could write (or even remember) things down like you do. YOu are an awesome writer and I appreciate the memories you have of your grandfather. These memories are going to mean a lot to your future generation.