Unfortunately, I never knew my grandpa on my mom’s side of the family. I guess the Lord knew my grandpa Freeman would be enough. From my earliest years, he made an indelible impression on my life.
He wasn’t a tall man. Yet, he towered over people just by the sheer power of his personality. I have never watched a comedian that came close to the humor that was found in him. Often he would admonish my brother and I about being friendly. He would speak to every person that he came in contact with. If he did not get a response in return, he would quickly respond with: Speak ole butt, your face won’t! Generally, he would get a response. In many ways my grandfather and dad taught me the value of being friendly.
My grandfather loved to fish. I like to fish, but my grandfather had an immense love affair with fishing. It seemed like everyday he was at the lake or some other fishing hole trying to catch a fish. Someday’s I swear that my brother is the reincarnation of my grandfather. He has pawpaw’s fishing gene. Boy, you have got to bump that hook. That way the fish will know you are there!
Many days, I would come home from school and he would be on the porch working on a lawnmower. He would look up and watch my brother and I come off of the bus. We would walk over to his porch and tell him about our day. He would listen to us and then whistle. As if to say: Listen to this crap! Even now, I can hear him whistle. If he was happy he would whistle, he would also whistle when he was angry. Someday’s he sounded like a tea kettle.
However, I never doubted that he loved us. He would put on a glove and run into the yard to play catch. Baseball was another great love of his. We would pick teams and play in the yard. My grandmother would pitch, and he would give us tips on hitting. It is memories like these that I cherish. I can remember him laughing. It was on the rare occasion that he would get upset with his grandchildren.
As long as I live, I hope that I never forget my grandfather. Barefoot loved his grand-kids and there will never be another man like him. Y’all take care and I will catch up with you soon.