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Old 03-26-2012, 07:40 PM   #34
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Interesting thread, and I am envious of those who have great and extensive details of their grandparents lives.
My Dad was from a coal mining town in PA. His father as far as I know worked the mines for a short time, didn't serve in WWI, and raised three boys. He was a lineman for the utility company until his retirement. He died when I was 12, and my Dad was not one to talk of his Dad much. Grampy had one incredible talent, and that was calligraphy. When I was little and he would visit he'd always have his pens and ink and write beautiful script on little cards and give them to me. I have one with my name on it that he wrote for me and have saved it all these years. I think him and my grandmother both enjoyed the sauce, according to my Mom.

Maternal grandfather I know more of even though he died when I was 6. He and his wife raised 7 kids at the height of the Depression, in an unheated house in Woburn. You have to tip your hat to folks who survived those times, but Granpa was a nasty bastard that beat his kids and took no shit from anyone. He was a conductor for the railroad and in later years a gate operator at the Woburn train station. My Mom said he was as cold as ice. On July 4th each year, the family fireworks consisted of Grandpa going out in the backyard and firing a single round from his .38 into the sky. My mom's late sister inherited the "cold as ice" genes ( what a freaking bitch she was) but my Mom turned out like her Mom, a living saint, gentle, decent and loved by all who know her. Grandpa died when he had a stroke on a cross country train ride to California. My grandma and he were just retired in 1963, and my grandma had never been to the west coast, so they went by train. He was stricken on the journey and there was a doctor on the train that tended him until they got to Salt Lake City, where this doctor lived. They took him off the train, realized there wasn't much they could do to save him, and this kind doctor got back on the train east and stayed with Grandpa all the way back to Boston, and got him home in his bed where he died a few hours after arriving. My grandmother never did get to see California.
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