I am visiting my grandfather Charlie. He’s 100 years old.
The year he was born, Oklahoma became a state. Gene Autry was born that year. The radio tube was invented that year.
He worked full-time at a lumber mill making molding until 1972, but continued part-time until he drew his last paycheck in 1990, at the age of 83.
He was married to my grandmother Ione for more than 60 years. After his vision started to fail, he would still drive with her in the passenger seat telling him what color the stoplights were.
A few years ago, his rotten neighbor Johnny, the drunken layabout, siphoned gas out of his truck. His response: “I’m just glad I had it to lose!” (Although he also has a gun and would shoot Johnny if Johnny came in his house.)
He lives alone in the house he bought 51 years ago. Hurricane Katrina knocked a humongous pine tree down on his house, crushing his kitchen. His response: “Sure am glad I wasn’t in the kitchen!”
In his refrigerator you’ll find:
- Orange juice
- Hershey’s chocolate bars
- Jack Daniels
His hearing and vision and short-term memory aren’t great. But he’s the happiest man in the world.