The lovely and very talented writer, Tricia, who writes on her personal blog Stream Of The Conscious and for A Nervous Tic Motion has been going through a sad time. Her grandmother recently passed away and Tricia asked for people to share a family story in honor of her grandmother. I’m writing it on my blog or else it would be a really long comment.
I’ve always thought my maternal grandfather was the coolest grandpa anyone could ever have. He was part of the Flying Tigers in World War 2 and was a police officer later on. He had a tattoo that he got in the war and I thought it was bad ass because I didn’t know anyone else who had one at the time.
Back when my mom and I moved from California to Footloose, USA, we lived with my grandpa for a while. My grandfather took me on a few of his shifts and since Footloose was such a small town, it wasn’t like there would’ve been a bank robbery or a murder. He loved pistachios and I remember sitting in the car with him when he was on patrol, eating pistachios and drinking soda.
I didn’t have cable television when I was growing up and when I got a little older he would record movies for me and hours of MTV.
It was probably different for my mom but I remember when it came to his personality he was as cool as a cucumber and never seemed rattled at whatever was thrown at him. Like my driving when I was a teenager.
I was 15 and living in California with my sperm donor. That summer I went to visit my mom, stepdad, and sister in Footloose. My grandfather and I went out one day in his brand new red truck and it came up that I would be getting my driver’s license soon. I had driven my mom’s car very short distances but that was it.
My grandfather’s truck was a stick shift and I had no idea how to drive one so he said he’d teach me. He drove right outside of town to an area they were developing but there were still dirt roads. I had a hard time getting the truck to move and it was very clear that I suck at driving a car with a stick shift.
I could probably drive one if the hummingbird and I were in danger. Like if zombies and vampires were battling it out in our neighborhood and we had to make a quick escape.
After what seemed like forever, I finally got my grandfathers’s truck to move a few feet at a time. I kept on making his truck sputter along since I just couldn’t get the hang of a stick shift.
There we were jerking back and forth and I wanted to give up but he told me to give it a chance. I finally got the truck to move more than a few feet but while I was trucking along
I couldn’t resist I saw a car coming in the opposite direction.
I was freaking out and wanted to stop when it passed but my grandfather told me that if I’m going to be driving soon, I’m ultimately going to have to pass cars. haha!
The closer the car came, the more anxious I got and right when it was passing us, I slammed on the brakes. I looked over expecting my grandfather to be mad but he was just sitting there, as calm as ever.
After that he let me go off roading for a bit. There was a small field I would speed across and then brake really fast. I couldn’t believe he was letting me go wild with his brand new truck all the while remaining so patient with me.
I was having a rough visit because back then I didn’t get along with my stepdad at all and my grandfather probably knew that I needed some fun.
We headed back to my parents house with my grandfather behind the wheel. I remember giving him lots of hugs and promising to call him more often. I jumped out of his truck and as I was walking to the front door, I turned back while waving and told him I love you. He said the same and told me he’s looking forward to seeing me soon.
That ended up being the last time I saw him. My grandfather passed away 2 months later. After all of these years, I still miss him like crazy.
One of the really exciting things that happened when I lived in Footloose, USA was that they filmed a movie there with Bill Paxton (I can’t remember the name of the movie). My grandfather got to meet him since the police department was handling the security.
My grandfather, Robert, shaking hands with actor Bill Paxton. I had school that day so I didn’t get to meet him. *sad face*