Monday, July 25, 2005

A Grampie Story

Today is Grampie Alexa's birthday. He's 110...or he would be if he were still here. My boys are sitting behind me exclaiming at the things I'm writing ("Grampie can't be 110!")--as if they didn't even know that I had a Grampie Alexa of my own!

My grandfather was Lithuanian--he came to the U.S. when he was 18 or so. My grandmother was 4 years older than him and she taught him English--in fact, I think that's how they met. He learned to speak the language all right, but even 60 years later a lot of my friends had a hard time understanding him because of his accent.

When I was little I loved to be with Grampie Alexa. I especially liked to go over to eat with him and Grammie. He would go out in the woods after a rain and pick mushrooms in the summer, but they weren't uniform like the ones you buy in the store. They were all different varieties, sizes, colors, and shapes. He said that the way he knew which ones were alright to eat was by seeing where deer and other animals had nibbled at them. I don't think I'd ever be brave enough to pick them myself, but I ate them with him then. I really liked sitting on the porch and watching Grampie clean those mushrooms with his knife. He would cut off the ends and slice them, then take them inside and fry them with salt pork in a big cast iron skillet on the flat top of their black wood cookstove. After I would eat them my mother wouldn't let me in the house because of the smell of them on my breath! In truth, when they were fried like that they turned kind of dark and slimy, but Gramp made them and that was enough to convince me I liked them!

There are just way too many stories about Gramp to put them all in one blog--like riding in his 1931 Model-A Ford which he bought used in 1935 and drove until 1975 or so when he gave up driving. I think he sold it at a profit....
Anyway--I'll write more Grampie Alexa stories now and then.

1 comment:

Mallory said...

the stories are nice to have. i never knew him, so it's nice to be able to pictures what kind of a man he was. i know that you really loved him.