Monday, December 19, 2016

Granddaddy's Centenary

Today would have been Granddaddy's 100th birthday. When he was born on the family farm in Alabama, the US had yet to enter the Great War. His own grandfather, a Southern veteran of the Grand Army of the Republic in the American Civil War, was alive and telling stories of his youth, declaring when invited to speak of his wartime experiences at my Granddaddy's elementary school that if a certain neighboring Confederate veteran had been invited to speak too, he wouldn't: "I already whupped him once, I ain't gonna whup him again!" Granddaddy once asked him what prompted him and his six brothers, all Southerners, to answer Lincoln's call for volunteers, and he responded simply "I don't believe one man should own another man."

Granddaddy himself fought tyranny on the international and local level, from his service in the US Navy during World War II to his insistence on honesty while serving on the city council of his small middle Georgia town; the refusal to kowtow to the ol' boy network limited him to a single term, but he managed to achieve the approval of key initiatives in that short period whose positive effects are still felt. He worked hard and steadily, and despite ongoing struggles with severe PTSD, his affection for his family was unwavering. He made a wise choice in the selection of a wife, for one! I miss him, oftentimes badly, but I look forward to seeing him again. I expect even in the company of the Almighty, he's still got a crew cut.

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