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!