I almost named this post something different, but "Pop" is how my aunt and my mom refer to him and Nana did write the poem, so the title is for her.
OUR POP IS TOPS!
Daddy, Dad, Pop, Grandpa, Pops
No matter the name, our Pop is Tops.
One day, we’ll only have memories
That from our mind we must tease.
Remember always coming home a different way
And how we’d run to search his lunch box at the end of the day?
And never forget his pleasure
In looking for all that treasure.
And our feeling that there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix.
That’s one of the things he misses since becoming sick.
His disbeliefs at all the pictures that we’ve taken,
But willing to pose with the latest baby without our begging!
Do you remember mom lowering the boom
Whenever he had car parts in the living room?
Not one for a verbal I love you,
Just something you knew, if you had a clue.
Picking up potatoes, pulling up beans
The fields were endless, it seems.
Shelling corn until our fingers were sore,
Cutting up apples down to the core,
Picking up walnuts for money for school,
And blackberries at ten cents a gallon was the rule.
Let’s not forget his shop,
His road grader, and tractor, “Johnny Pop”.
Cutting your own switch for mom’s tea of peach,
But that was better than Pop’s belt to our seat!
Remember his motto, “always room for one more”
When we were going to the creek or to the store.
Walking to grandma’s through the woods in the shade,
Along the path that he made
Riding on top of the truck load of lumber
Stories of the potato wagon when there was thunder.
Sliding down the pile of sawdust from his sawmill
Losing your stomach when he would drive fast down the hill.
Going to the Dairy Princess for ice cream
For a truck load of sixteen!
Going to Hocomo for penny candy sticks
Or picking and eating peaches until we were sick.
Remember his simple joy
With any silly little toy.
The shirt off his back he would lend,
Any neighbor could bring him something to mend.
Never knowing who was coming in the door
When calling him in for supper, how many more?
Glenda’s culvert washing away with every rain,
“Grandpa, please come fix it” was her refrain.
Remember making molasses, hominy and cider
For the old ways, our pop is a fighter!
Never was crazy about “new fangled stuff!”
Or lazy kids sitting on their duff!
Wanting to pass on the know how of old ways
Nothing quite like the “olden days!”
His tall corn in the middle of a drought,
Of his pride, there wasn’t any doubt!
So proud of hunting with his sons,
Feeling like a contest he won.
Deer hunting from the cab of his truck,
Any day for fishing was a day for luck.
Remember when we first got a TV
Watching Sat night wrestling was so funny!
Every Sat night making chocolate cake.
Even the boys learned to bake.
Before TV, listening to radio, Lone Ranger
Hi Ho Silver and all their danger!
Better be quiet and not talk
Or outside you would walk!
Turning the handle on the ice cream maker
Making popcorn with the old shaker.
Grinding sausage after killing hogs every winter
How he wanted potatoes and gravy for every dinner.
Eating watermelon, spitting seeds, not a care;
Half the melon was his share.
Fried rabbit or squirrel is good for any ills,
Better than any of those pills!
Is there any reason you can think
Of why so many of our memories involve food and drink?
He never made much money, what will he leave behind?
A county road, a cemetery, a legacy of being kind.
Six children, numerous grandchildren and greats galore,
What man could ask for more?
Pop, a man at peace with his God
Who’s happy with the path he trod.
“If I could do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing,”
Says this country man who in our hearts is a king.
Heather and Grandpa
My mom, Grandpa, and Nana
Grandpa and Heather
As I read Nana's poem, many memories of Grandpa surfaced. Instead of searching his lunchbox for food though, the grandkids searched his shirt pocket for Dentyne gum. I remember well the trips to Hocomo for peaches! The peach orchard is gone now. We'd go pick bushel after bushel of peaches and although I did not (and still don't) like peaches, I couldn't tell Grandpa no when he'd slice off a piece for me. I'd stick it in my mouth and eat it and pretend to like it. I don't do that for anyone else and never have. And I can totally relate to the never-ending fields she referred to and the tall corn fields. I can remember several occasions when my siblings and I would have our pictures taken with some kind of vegetable Grandpa had raised and that had grown extra large. I especially remember the year the photo was of Regina, Levi, Lacey and me and the corn was taller than Levi standing on top of Grandpa's shoulders.
And you're absolutely right, Nana! Memories of Grandpa do involve food!!!! Thanks for sharing your poem with me and allowing me to share it with everyone else.