Some Thoughts on Granddaddy

by swellsbennett

I’m sitting at my desk with a great big mug of peppermint-mocha-flavored coffee and my tenth novel to revise, and instead I’m writing a blog post. This can’t really be called goofing off, since I have a schedule to keep where this blog is concerned: two posts a week, Wednesday and Saturday. However, that doesn’t make this activity wholly legitimate, since I don’t actually have an idea to write about right now.

My mother, who is a regular reader of this blog (and hence the reason you won’t ever find me writing about my sex life or other, equally scandalous, topics) suggested that I write about Granddaddy, who was Fuzzy’s father. I was his third great-grandchild, but I was also the closest to him – in proximity and (therefore) affection.

Perry Roosevelt Horton wasn’t a very tall man. He had a farmer’s tan, no doubt from his years of being just that, and a shock of white hair with no signs of balding. When I was small, he would set me on his lap and together we would sing “Swim, Little Fishy” and count from one to ten in Spanish. He kept a beautiful flower garden full of roses, gladiolas, and sweet peas.

I used to spend the night at Ma and Granddaddy’s house regularly. Ma, who suffered from declining health, was always good to me, but the real draw was Granddaddy. Sitting next to him at his kitchen table, I enjoyed the culinary delicacies of Vienna sausages on crackers, cornbread “milkshakes,” and banana pudding. But the best food I ate at Granddaddy’s house was pancakes.

You see, Granddaddy was an early riser, whereas Ma was prone to sleeping a little later. At around “dark-thirty,” Granddaddy would wake me up and we would tiptoe out to the kitchen, where he would make pancakes while I rambled on the way only children can do – asking questions that most adults can’t answer, like why animals don’t talk and the sky is blue. I remember his chuckling at some of the things I said, which only encouraged me to think I might be funny. “Funny” is a trait that is encouraged in my family, by the way – none of us believe in taking this world too seriously. We would eat pancakes and talk until Ma woke up, at which point our party broke up because Granddaddy had to help Ma get ready for her day.

Today, it doesn’t seem so unusual for a child to have great-grandparents or even great-great-grandparents still living, but in the Seventies, the fact that I had three living great-grandparents was unusual. I was lucky to have Granddaddy for the first ten years of my life.

Well, my mug of coffee is nearly gone. Time for me to get to my real work. I’ll tell you more about Granddaddy sometime soon. Have a great day!

Ma and Granddaddy

Ma and Granddaddy about a decade before I came along.

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