Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Happy Birthday DaDa!

Today my grandfather turns 89. He and his girlfriend Bonnie will probably go out and do a little dancing this evening, then he'll come home and turn the TV on really loudly. A car chase in a re-run of Dragnet will remind him of a black Studebaker he worked on once in the winter, a week after my mom's birthday. He'll recall that they hadn't cleaned the streets that weekend and streamers from the New Year's parade and other garbage kept blowing into his door. He remembers the wind blew through Pendleton hard that winter, so hard he had to work with the big garage door down most of the day, which made his clothes smell of gas and oil and my grandma, NeeNee, would make him take off his coat and leave it on the porch to air out. Then he'll talk about how pretty that little Studebaker Coup was, but he'll stop and scratch his head, trying to think of the name of that tall drink of water that bought if from that son-of-a-bitch ex-mayor for $135. This forgotten name will haunt him for two days and he'll be distracted trying to think of it. Meanwhile, he will remember exactly what was wrong with the Studebaker (bad gas pump), where he found the part to fix it (in the office of his service station - The Flying A, on the back shelf behind the stack of Valvoline bottles), and what the guy traded for for the work instead of actually paying his bill (an old carburetor from his mom's Packard). Then he'll remember where that carburetor was stored, until several weeks later somebody else came in with a broken butterfly valve on their carburetor, and he'll remember what size hex-wrench he needed to take the old valve out and replace it. But still, DaDa will fret about his mind going because he can't remember the guy's name from the Studebaker job. Then, finally he'll say, "Oh Gad! That's right! That was old Denny Campbell. How could I forget that???" Yes, really DaDa. How could you forget something important like that! Sheesh!
Happy Birthday DaDa. I love you!


Blogger Tink said...

Holy shit, that last picture is PRICELESS! And he has a better memory then I've ever had/will have/have now. Three cheers for getting older and evidently smarter.

1/11/2006 10:18 AM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

What a gift to be that old and still have your mind. Write down everything he says, because you'll one day want to ask questions and they won't be here.

1/11/2006 10:23 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

The picture of you and your granfather is sweet and Quinn looks so much like you!
What a great tribute. He sounds like a pistol. You must be so thrilled that your children are getting to know him.

1/11/2006 11:16 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Awwww...that is so sweet. (I miss my grandpa.)
He's lucky to have such a wonderful granddaughter.

1/11/2006 2:25 PM  
Blogger Montana1 said...

Is that you, Mignon? I saw the date and couldn't believe it. I thought that was Madeline. That is freaky. She's you!

1/11/2006 3:01 PM  
Blogger Shrinking Violet said...

That is just too good! I miss my grandfather. Ditto on what Wordgirl says. Write it down and/or tape it. Happy Birthday DaDa!

1/11/2006 3:12 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Happy Birthday!

Mignon, you look EXACTLY like your daughter!

1/11/2006 5:10 PM  
Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

Love the pictures!! When you say Pendleton, do you mean Oregon? That's where I was born.

What great memories.

1/11/2006 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Happy Birthday to your grandfather. Isn't it great to hear all his stories? (I loved the ones my grandfather would share -- he died in 1988 and I still miss him every day.)

1/11/2006 5:42 PM  

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