A Fairytale for Throwback Thursday

Once upon a time, there lived a handsome young man of steel who told a little white lie about his age, joined the Army at seventeen, fought at the front during The War to End All Wars on many fields of battle, came home intact in mind and body, swept a lovely fifteen-year-old store clerk off her feet, married her straightaway, and started a dynasty.  Thus reads the CliffsNotes version, you may thank me after the test.

But before that, a lot of other things happened.

And while those things were happening, the young man was growing steely because clearly he had good genes plus a step-father who was certifiably unhinged.  When the lad in our tale was less than twelve years old, his step-dad took him to the barren plains of eastern Colorado to “prove up a claim” and homestead it, worked him like a dog, left him there and went home to Kansas.  But not before taking a pot-shot at him off the porch that put a hole through his hat and knocked him flat in the hard Colorado dirt.

The boy lived out there in that little shack by himself, with the heat and the wind and the wildlife, until somebody came for him.  Whatever steel he wasn’t born with must have crawled into his bones in those months, and it never left him.  I know this because he was my grandfather and I know he never lost his metal, his discipline, or his looks.  He and my grandmother raised six sons and three daughters, all worth knowing in their own right.  Grandpa knew how to do everything and Grandma knew the rest, so there was always food on the table and a good roof on a house full of voices laughing, crying, arguing, singing, talking, yelling, but mostly laughing.  Smart funny people, this dynasty.

It’s my favorite fairytale to slip into on cold gray days because it’s all true.  And a thing to love is that with everything Grandpa survived in his years, he never got smelly and mean-spirited and old on the inside. He and my grandmother both figured out how to stay alive and BE alive and how to pass that on.  Pretty cool.

 

GpaFrame

 

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. AuntB
    Dec 06, 2014 @ 15:14:51

    Judy Dear…..I didn’t have to read more than a few words to know “straightway” where you were going with this “fairy tale”. This was the sweetest, shortest, fairy tale that I have read and enjoyed for a long time. You put words into pictures so cleverly and colorful. Loved this one as much as I do all of your writing.

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  2. Linda
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 16:38:00

    Somehow I missed this fairy tale the first time around. A handsome man for sure and it sounds like he and grandmother raised an excellent family. That kind of experience certainly would put steel in someone. Love hearing about a real hero.

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    • Judy Smith
      Dec 04, 2014 @ 16:49:31

      I’ve never shared this part of the fairytale before, Linda, or seen it anywhere else in the family. It’s a story Grandpa shared with my sister Rita and me on a road trip to Colorado one time. I wish I had bucket-loads of details … and photos … but alas, no such thing.

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  3. bluelaker4
    Dec 04, 2014 @ 16:28:34

    Wow, what a story! How many 11 year olds could survive that? Handsome dude!

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    • Judy Smith
      Dec 04, 2014 @ 16:34:03

      I’m guessing not too many.
      He was pretty gorgeous, and he and my grandmother carried on a happy love affair until his death from cancer. And they made beautiful babies. 😌

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      Reply

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