Gramps   4 comments

Brother Jim sent me a picture of Gramps playing with his great-grandson John.  This would have been more than twenty years ago; Gramps has been gone a long time.

We all loved Gramps dearly.  Otherwise known as Grandpa Kelly, or George Kelly, he was actually our step-grandfather; but that meant very little to my siblings and me when we were growing up.  He was just Gramps, and we loved him.

In this picture, he would be somewhere in his eighties, but still remarkably fit and even youthful.  You can see his sinewy arms and enormous gentle hands.

Gramps 2

He was a good-looking (except for a football-broken nose) Irishman who had been a policeman in Taft in the days of the oil boom.  You had to be tough — really tough to survive that, and he was.  No one would ever think to mess with him.  Yet he was soft-spoken and kind.

I think this must have been taken when he made his last visit to all of his relatives.  He came here, too, and he and Billy got along famously.  They were much alike; hard-working men with a drive to protect and support their families.  You don’t see their like much these days.

He will be remembered.

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Posted July 24, 2014 by stablewoman in Uncategorized

4 responses to “Gramps

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  1. I loved it when he and Grandma Kelly visited. They had a variant on a Burns and Allen or Abbott and Costello routine: She would needle him and he would, with a kind of James Stewart stammer, come up, eventually, with a comeback. She would wait for it, there would be a moment of silence, and then her face would twitch and quiver and she would start to laugh.

    Our biological grandfather may have been the great love of her life, but there are plenty of times I saw her look at him meaning to look exasperated, but what was on her face was adoration instead.

    I hated it when it came time for them to leave.

    You are right: He was so gentle, especially with children, but Dad’s favorite story was the one about him on foot patrol when three oil field roughnecks jumped him. Constable Pops Waggoner–the one with a wooden leg–heard the commotion from upstairs in the Taft Elks Lodge where he was having a Coke and Something, and by the time he got to the scene–I can kind of hear Ahab’s pegleg on the Elks Lodge staircase– the three guys were all unconscious.

    P.S. I will hear for sure next week, but there’s a chance I’ve sold a book.

  2. P.P.S.: New blog address. I invariably write something stupid and dump them, so this is number three. I still need to control my temper better. http://jimgregory52.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/the-lynching/

  3. Roberta…Elizabeth here. Gramps was at our house in Los Osos and he would open the front door and say, “Where did you move the bathroom this time?” or “Hmm, that does not look like the bathroom!” What a sweetie! It was also the first time I dealt with missing dentures. We found ’em!

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