Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My mom wanted all my sisters to say something at the wake.  Here's what I said.

Grandpa has been compared to such notable talents as Grouch Marx and W.C. Fields.  He had a self-deprecating wit that made Rodney Dangerfield appear a pillar of dignity and self-respect.

But Grandpa was nothing if not original.  He had the style of the old vaudevillians he used to watch as a young man, but he was never behind the times.

One of my last conversations with him - the details of which are probably best left to myself - revealed what a truly amazing life he had.  Cruising the South Pacific in the Navy during WWII, a chiropractic career in Arizona, romance on an international level as he was prone to claim, and an intimate knowledge of Las Vegas.

I don't know that he expected to be the grandfather to nine granddaughters, probably never considering offspring of his to be capable of such an incredible feat.  But whenever the magnitude would overtake him as he watched the typical female antics, he'd shake his head in incredulity at my mom and finding no other words would say, "Gotta hunch, have a bunch" as if this explained everything perfectly.

And for him it did.  He was not judgmental.

Recently, however, he decided to take matters into his own hands.  

Where biology had failed, bribery would succeed.

He issued a family-wide proclamation declaring that the first girl to produce a (legitimate) male heir would receive $1,000.  Or more depending on the stock market.

And not entirely trusting our skills in this matter, went ahead and included his great-granddaughters in on the offer.

It's a cliche, but also a truth that Grandpa left us a lot to laugh about.  And that's no mean legacy.

I love you Grandpa, I'll miss you. And thanks for everything.

I wrote that in about 15 minutes, just a few hours before I had to deliver it.  I think it was pretty good considering.  At least people laughed in all the right places.

I'm still going to post the pictures of the hurricane damage, but it will probably be tomorrow or the next.

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