My Grandpa knew Smokey

What a smile! My grandpa knew Smokey the Bear, and he introduced us. I have fuzzy memories of it because I was so young. In fact I have fuzzy memories of my grandfather because he was gone before I was six.

I remember some. I remember hand drawn maps to find my Easter basket. I recall saddling up to the basement bar on Piper Road and a cold Hires root beer being served. I remember red plastic fireman hats. I remember his red boat cutting the waves on Lake Erie.

Mostly though, I remember how he made me feel. Through everything in life I didn’t forget that. He made me feel warm, safe, important and treasured. He was gentle and strong.

I wish I could be more like him. In a lot of ways. But even the short time I had with him meant a lot and informed me for a lifetime the measure of what I want to be.

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