I had two.
One owned a radio station
, died of Alzheimer's Disease
. Grew up in Colorado
. You see a lot of his face in mine
. You also see a lot of his first wife, my grandmother
, the one he left, the one my father never met
, in me.
I remember the absent look in his eyes, and the various Continental Credit Card
gifts he had for me at birthdays.
A China doll
, a brass unicorn, an piggybank elephant
He bought an abandoned hotel
and filled it with all he'd hoarded in 60 years
before we put him in a home
When he died, there was a 21-gun salute
and a massive effort to clean and sell the hotel. So great was our madness that we threw out most of the books
; I still have the records
. Discovered the Weavers
and lots of Liberace
in his record chest.
My other grandpa was a farmer
, yes. Corn
, alfalfa seed
, sugar beet
s. Dairy before the heart attack
. He lived in dusty country; he grew his crops in volcanic ash
. Usually clad in flannel and jeans
; when the timing was right, he wore irrigation boots
. Answered everything with pie
with his reading glasses on.
I shaved my head
the summer before he died, and he said I looked kinda cute
- that was as close as anyone in my family came to paying a compliment on my looks
. My father wasn't talking to me at all
at the time.
They sold the farm
shortly before I shaved my head. They moved to the suburbs
. It's a common tale. Farm auctions rip me in half