Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Pumpa!

Today is my grandfather's 80th birthday!
That's him on the left, with his sister, my Aunt Shirley, and brother, my Uncle Mel. I took this photo in August at my Aunt's wedding.

Here he is at the same event with his girls: (from the left) my Aunt Caroline, my Aunt Cathy, gramma & my mom.
Eighty is quite the milestone - oh to have seen the things he has! I love hearing stories about pumpa's youth... here are a few I don't want to forget:
  • he spent 4 or 5 years in high school.... but quit without completing the 10th grade
  • he started working in auto body shops - mostly spray painting cars without proper ventilations or masks & with *lead* paint!
  • how he won my gramma's dad over: my great-grandfather needed help fixing up their cottage & could find no one but pumpa. Thinking him a bit of a sot, my great-grandfather said "I guess I'll need to bring a case of beer now" - implying pumpa wouldn't work without drinking. Pumpa's response? "Well are we going to work or are we going to drink?" Future father-in-law: won over.
  • he was a fire fighter, which means he's incredibly brave - there are some neat pictures of pumpa putting out a fire (in black & white) & another of him running across the street as the top of a burning building collapsed forward (into the street!)
  • when working, he used to always make his own lunch - the first time my gramma did it for him, she made him a tomato sandwich..... needless to say, that was the first & last soggy sandwich!
  • when he moved his growing family into the home my grandparents still live in - he paid the previous owner directly, in monthly payments as agreed upon & for an amazing price because the previous owner was racist & didn't want to sell to an ethnic family, the only other (better) offer he had (I can't remember if it was a race or religion prejudice.... either way, can you imagine?)
I know there are more, but those are the ones I can think of right now. I'll have to ask him to reminisce for me next time I see him (I should really write them & my gramma's down too).

Oh - and were you wondering where the "pumpa" came from? My older brother Matt was their first grandchild. When he first started speaking, "grandpa" came out sounding like "pumpa" & it just stuck, even with my much younger cousins.

Happy Birthday Pumpa! See you soon!


donnarose said...

yes amanda write things down or even better.....record them then you can give your full attention to your grandpa and you won't miss a word

Deana Mattos said...

Nice reading about your Grandpa. I only have a Grandma left, they have all been so special to me. I miss listening to them talk and tell me about the old days. I wish I would of wrote things down or had some recordings. Treasure your moments together.

Lizzie Barbie said...

Congratulations to your grandfather. the list is great. I love listening to the stories of older people too. Looking forward to Mosaic Monday.