Today I am thinking of my Grandpa Walter, who left us 36 years ago today.
On what was also his birthday.
He was a man who always had an easy smile and laugh.
Who never tired of bouncing me and/or my sister Jacquie on his knee when we all would visit him and Grandma Lucille in St. Paul.
And I remember one visit in the late summer or early fall in 1980 or so, when he and I went to the Donald Hotel.
For an Orange Crush.
Just us guys.
Shooting the breeze (as much as a nine-year-old and a senior can anyway).
I think he might have told me to be nicer to my sister.
And to listen more to my mom and dad (he was Mom's dad).
I'll admit I was sweet but could be stubborn, even at nine.
But I sure knew he loved me.
And I him.
But mostly we just sat there.
Enjoying that Orange Crush.
You'll be happy to know that I'm much nicer to my sister now, Pepere Walter.
Tell Mom I miss her and think of her often, would you?
And I go listen to my dad's stories when I can.
Sometimes I even go hang out with your crazy sons.
Otherwise known as my crazy uncles.
They are just as funny, loyal and good to me and Jacquie as you remember.
I'm sure you know she now has two beautiful daughters named Penelope and Mikaela!
In closing, I have to ask you...
Is mon oncle Guy as funny up there as he was down here?
I love you Pepere!
And Happy Birthday!