Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy birthday, Grandpa

I recall seeing my grandfather drive a car only once. It was during an emergency medical situation, otherwise he probably would not have done it. He did not like cars. Grandmother was the driver for the two of them. So, why a photograph of a snow-covered car today, February 27, my grandfather's birthday? Because the car and the snow are part of my life right now, just as my grandfather was, is and always will be part of my life, and my mind is drawn to him most strongly when winter winds howl in the month of February -- the month of his birth. Snow lends an element of beauty to most winter days, even to the day of this photograph, which was viciously cold. Snow might be beautiful; cold is not. (The winter camper's axiom that I learned while still a boy is this: Snow is your friend, cold is your enemy.) All right, enough of that .... the music fits my grandfather, especially "Ghost Riders in the Sky." Grandpa was a cowboy when he was a young man. He settled down when he married. He loved horses. He raised a few; he raced a few. In many ways, grandpa lived in the past. He was born a couple of generations too late in time, as some of us seem to be. My only memories of him are happy ones. Chocolate cake and ice cream this evening, if you are free and available to stop by .... anyway. A word about my former wife and her visits to the Mayo Clinic, since I mentioned them in earlier posts. I never have seen a more professional, impressive medical system in my life than that which exists at the Mayo Clinic. It is not a simple doctor/patient relationship; it is an entire team of medical professionals/patient relationship. Her current circumstances are satisfactory; her next follow-up visit will be in May. I wonder where the stars will be in May? I wonder where I will be in May? As for me now, I am off for a bit of work .... yippie yi oohhhh .... yippie yi aayyyy ....


A Cuban In London said...

I agree with you 100%. I don't like winter but give me snow and I am like a little kid in a grown-up's body (I didn't grow up with snow so have a lot of catching up to do).

Nice story about your grandpa and happy birthday to him, too.

Greetings from London.

ANITA said...

Hello Fram!good to see you back !Love the story about your grandpa:)))
Hope all is well with yor farmer wife..Take good care of her.Dont know much about the Mayo something Indian thing?

The movie seems interesting and Jhonny Cash music is very good!

Happy weekend Fram

Kaya said...

This is a very nice memoir about your grandfather. Sadly, I don't remember much about my grandfather. He wasn't in my life a lot; only on some special occasions.

" He didn't like cars." He loved horses... Your grandfather had a free spirit.

And Jonny Cash is unforgettable and always contemporary.

Wish your wife to get better. She is lucky to have a man like you on her side. She is fortunate to go the Mayo Clinic.

Wish you both the best.

Fram Actual said...

Winter driving on snowy, icy roads has taken its toll on me over the years, CiL, but since I now usually drive only when I "damn well" am in the mood to do it, I prefer snow to cold. And, this winter, in this neck of the woods, has been abominably cold.

When I was a boy, I loved to hunt during snowstorms and ground blizzards. There is a wildness to being in the midst of such an event which is indescribable in words and not photographable in practical terms. There is an exhilaration to it unknown to most contemporary men.

Thank you, CiL.

Fram Actual said...

I am a bit surprised you have not heard of the Mayo Clinic, Anita. It is arguably the most famous medical center in the United States. It is where presidents, film stars and literary giants go when they have a serious medical problem. It is where my father died; not everyone can be healed/cured. Possibly, treatment there will mean more years of life for my former wife.

I think you might enjoy "Victory at Sea." It is a designed series about World War II, and sometimes described as the first-ever television mini-series, being aired initially in the early 1950s. World War II veterans adored the series, and I like the music even more than the film work.

Thank you, Anita.

Fram Actual said...

I have few memories of my father, Kaya, so perhaps that is a reason I have so many good ones of my grandfather. There are many photographs of him on or beside a horse; none with him in or next to an automobile. There is a story with logic regarding his distaste for automobiles. Think of it in terms of not only an end to an era, but an end to a family business.

Well, my former wife might not entirely agree with you about me, Kaya. She is the one who ended our marriage. But, as I have mentioned at other times in other posts, relationships end, but not always love and affection, and she is the mother of two of my children. And, for me, Semper Fidelis is true in all aspects of life.

And, yes, living less than one hundred miles from the Mayo Clinic is a so-called "blessing" in many ways. There is no better medical facility on earth, from my point of view.

Thank you, Kaya.

Smareis said...

Hello Fram!

Passei pra ver sua atualização e fiquei feliz por ter liberado os comentários. Estava com saudades de ler suas escritas. Espero que tudo esteja bem com você. E a tua perna já melhorou?
Então, o gelo continua por ai... E o frio também.
Aqui o calor parece que vai dar uma melhorada. Uma chuva fina chegou ontem a noite, sinal que a temperatura vai melhorar um pouco.
A imagem do carro é muito bonita, e a neve deixa a fotografia mais bela ainda. O frio e o calor têm a sua beleza e seus encantos, as fotografias sempre ficam muito bela, mais somos pequenos diante do poder da natureza. Sou mais o calor do que o frio, embora não ser nada fácil suportar uma temperatura tão alta que nem aqui da minha cidade.
Gostei da forma que fala do seu avô, parece que deixou saudade em você. Boas lembranças essa do teu avô. Bolo de chocolate e sorvete. Meus avôs faleceram quando eu ainda era uma criança.
Desejo que tudo esteja bem com tua ex- esposa e que o tratamento esteja sendo positivo, e que a próxima visita a Clinica ela receba noticias boas... Essa Clinica Mayo parece ser muito boa.
Tem equipe médica que são muito profissionais e cumpre muito bem seu trabalho, trata os pacientes com respeito e atenção. Mais tem médicos que não são muito agradáveis, estão ali mesmo só ocupando espaço que deveria de ser de outro profissional que esta com vontade de trabalhar.
Aqui no Brasil a saúde pública é um desastre. Péssimo atendimento. As Clinicas particulares cobra muito alto pela prestação de serviço. Quem pode pagar é bem atendido, e quem não pode tem que se sujeitar a fila na saúde pública. Desigualdade aqui é muito grande.
As músicas dos vídeos são muito boas.
Ghost Riders In The Sky / por Johnny Cash , essas músicas fez lembrar-se de alguns filmes que assisti. Eu sempre gostei de assisti filmes de faroeste. São sempre muito bons e a trilha sonora sempre é muito agradável.

Fram desejo tudo de bom para você, e que sua semana seja plena, e de muitas coisas boas, e que o mês de março seja completo de paz, saúde e muitas alegrias.

Até breve!

Fram Actual said...

I am sporadic and inconsistent about comments, Smareis. There are times I have a real reason for not opening a post up for them, but sometimes it is just my mood. Whatever .... I always am glad when you leave a comment for me. Thank you.

My leg is coming along nicely. I always heal better and faster than doctors say I will, and I like to go twice as hard as physical therapists recommend to return to "normal." Mind over matter usually works well for me. The same is true for my former wife. She is a tough girl and a fighter. She has had a number of medical difficulties, and does not give in at all to any of them. For her, she needs to rebuild her strength and her stamina now after major surgery. Time will answer all questions.

As for medical personnel and facilities, I have always been a skeptic and a cynic (as I am in most regards about the world around me), but the Mayo Clinic, while not perfect, is premiere in every manner. It really is an entity apart and above anything I have experienced in a medical sense. Every field has people with varying levels of training, education, expertise, skills and god-given talents; the best of the best, I think, are at the Mayo Clinic. It is too bad not all facilities both here in the United States and in Brazil cannot be so well staffed and equipped.

Winter is not finished with me. A fast-moving storm is coming through tonight and tomorrow. It is expected to leave around four inches of snow and frigid temperatures behind it. But, the coming weekend will bring Daylight Savings Time and sun and warmer temperatures. Spring is battling its way to me. Winter does bring beauty, but I think I prefer heat to cold, too.

Yes, there was something about the way the snow "fit" the automobile which was appealing. It would have been nice to have eliminated everything else from the photograph other than the vehicle and its snow "cap," but I am not "into" photography these days.

I have to mention the first song. Richard Rodgers composed it especially for the "Victory at Sea" television series and titled it, "Beneath the Southern Cross." When he and Oscar Hammerstein later composed music for a Broadway musical, "Me and Juliet," the piece was redone as "No Other Love." As for love, I love the song, with either title, and have a habit of humming it and singing it (to myself) quite often.

As for my grandfather, he was important in my life when I was a boy, and I am glad to have had him with me then. I wish everyone could be so fortunate to have so many happy memories of childhood as I do.

Thank you, again, Smareis, for being here and for leaving your words. I do not think this will be a bad storm, but it might be worth a photograph. We shall see. Stay cool and stay safe and may your week be all you wish it to be ....

PhilipH said...

Jolly nice Grandpa piece Fram.

I only knew ONE of my Grandfathers, never any mention of my maternal Gramps. My Dad took me to Guildford for just one weekend in circa 1941/2, by train from Croydon. Dad had told me that Grandfather had 19 children! I didn't really think this was possible. Anyway, stayed a couple of nights in Grandad's #1 house; he had another house, right next door, both owned by the Council. Grandpa was blind when I met him. There seemed to be mainly WOMEN in his family, my Aunts I guess.
Later, in 1996, I met a cousin whom I didn't know of and he gave me a complete record of my family and it showed that my Dad was NOT telling the truth: Grandpa actually fathered 22 kids. He had two wives, the first got worn out and died. He remarried and carried on with his prolific fathering.
Great recording of Riders in the Sky. I bought the Frankie Laine single decades ago but now prefer the great Mr. Cash's rendition.

Fram Actual said...

I only knew one grandfather, too, Phil. My paternal grandfather died when I was only a year old.

In many respects, my maternal grandfather was one of the two most important men in my young life. The other being by grandmother's brother, who taught me how to shoot and how to hunt, and, even earlier, how to drive. I was cruising down country roads before my tenth birthday.

The man you write about certainly must have been an interesting fellow.

I still enjoy hearing Frankie Laine's music when a Western film turns up on television. I still enjoy Western films, period, more so than all the identical spy, cop, FBI, CIA, etc., films which rule television these days.

Thank you, Phil, for coming by to read this post and for leaving a comment.

Snowbrush said...

Some thoughts (about your older post--I wrote them before I realized that you had disabled comments, and, shoot me if you must, but I'll be damned if I going to toss what I wrote).

I can no longer run at all due to bad knees. I used to be fast, and I miss that.

You are much like I in some ways. For one thing, your depth. For another, your capacity to feel. For a third, your openness.

“I hope this is me talking and not Southern Comfort”

Souther Comfort? In this way, we are different. I ran out of narcotics yesterday (I’ve been taking them for breakfast), so I bought a family-size bottle of rum, it being my favorite liquor.

I very much like the song, and I can see beauty in the art. Do you know of Paul Butterfield’s “East West”? (

“ it is never too late for anything .... “

Age close off options. For instance, I can’t run. How old are you?

I hadn’t realized that you still live in Minnesota until you mentioned moving before the snow flies again. My address there, by the way, was 6725 Grand Avenue South, Richfield (we left just before the big mall opened). Peggy and I were part of a group marriage while there. We’ve been married 43 years, the group marriage died in 18 months. How many times have you been married?

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

How would he know, and why doesn’t he name a few of them?

Fram Actual said...

A couple of thoughts:

Again, I have more than five years of posts which explain me pretty thoroughly. They are there for anyone who has genuine curiosity. I know a couple of people who actually have read them all over a span of a few weeks.

Since this post is about my grandfather, I think it is rather crass of you to inject a rather trivial comment into a rather serious, sentimental piece and, beyond that, completely ignore the subject of the post. (I assume you had no grandfather, or one who had no real role in your life.) There also was a current post where comments were accepted available to you at the time you wrote this comment, but you still chose to insert it here and to ignore the then-current post entirely.

So, Snowbrush, I thank you for visiting me again, even in this obtuse manner.

Snowbrush said...

"Since this post is about my grandfather, I think it is rather crass of you to inject a rather trivial comment into a rather serious, sentimental piece and, beyond that, completely ignore the subject of the post."

I see your point, and I hope you'll accept my apology. I did read this post, but it wasn't one that I could think of anything to say about beyond than the obvious, and because I have spent so much time lately trying to build somewhat of a friendship with you, I simply didn’t want to do that.

“(I assume you had no grandfather, or one who had no real role in your life.)”

I never knew my mother’s father (nor did she), and my father’s father died when I was five. I have suffered a lot my whole lifelong from my lack of close family—and even extended family. Even here in Oregon, a place that is full of people from elsewhere, all of my friends have somehow managed to have family nearby, and I have no family anywhere except for Peggy, and a half-sister whom I never see, but who does read my blog and write to me occasionally.

Again, I am sorry for having caused offense, and I accept that your complaint in this regard was justified.

Snowbrush said...

You didn’t mention it, but there’s one other thing that I feel a little badly about, and that is that I commented at all regarding a post that you had closed comments on. I simply didn’t know that you ever did that, and since I had written a rather long comment, I decided to take a chance on your tolerance. To my surprise, you didn’t mention that which I thought you might offensive, but you did mention something that I hadn’t anticipated. It’s a funny world. Anyway, when I read old posts, I’ll make a point of being sure that comments are still open, and I do apologize if you did take the least offense.

Fram Actual said...

It is not unusual for me to block comments for one reason or another. It also is not unusual for someone who wishes to comment on my latest post and finds comments there blocked to place the comment on the nearest post where comments are open. It happens with regularity and I think nothing of it.

Anyway, we are cool, Snowbrush. Do not give it another thought.

Snowbrush said...

"It is not unusual for me to block comments for one reason or another."

I've never done that. I have blocked some (very few) individual comments that were filled with hatred and profanity, and I threatened recently to block comments from a fellow who was sermonizing on my blog (in effect, using my blog to blog on), but that's about it.

Something special ....