Monday, January 02, 2012

Peach Pits

When my maternal grandfather was about my current age, and I was in my teens, Victor Canine came, not happily, to live with us in Cleveland. He had a full head of white hair and a full mustache, was slightly built and limped.

He had lived his life in Waveland, Indiana where he operated the only print shop in a small town with neither a stop light or a stop sign.

This picture from Google maps could show where the print shop was located, but Google Earth shows nothing else of Waveland save its church.

Grandpa Canine didn't stay with us for very long; with four kids in the house there really wasn't the room so my parents stashed him in an other city old folks home. I am sure my Mother loved her Father, and my Father was reasonably considerate, but we kids didn't care much for the elderly intruder, nor he for us so his removal was the best for all concerned.

Other than his classic old white guy appearance I don't remember much about Grandpa Canine, but I do have a pointed memory of a hobby he occupied himself with. He carved many little baskets, with handles, from peach pits. I really loved to watch him carve the baskets and then I would handrub the charming little artifacts until I made them smooth.

I never missed him after he left, but a few years later, living in Los Angeles and feeling a little more responsible I found the address of the old folks home and dropped him a line. Sometime later, my letter was returned to me with "dead" written on the envelope. I was sorry I had missed connecting with him, and was angered by the callous notification on the envelope. When I calmed down I realized the word was "descd". Since there was no additional information or sense of concern for my interest, I accepted that this abrupt announcement was all I really deserved for my belated interest.

And now I can only wish I had some little talent to make some little thing that my grandchildren might remember fondly as their years go by.

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