Monday, July 1, 2013

Meet JC Wesson

Link up Every MondaySandy's Space hosts Memory Monday.  Just an opportunity to post a picture that evokes a fun, funny or special memory and then share it.

This is a photo of JC Wesson, my paternal grandfather.  He was in the US Army.  He's been gone now almost 12 years.  (Photo of gravestone below).  We didn't always have the best relationship because he wasn't what I would say a "girl's dad."  

He was rough around the edges, not politically correct, very old school, hands-on, do-it-yourself and frankly, sometimes we just didn't like one another.  He was a truck driver for several companies.  He also mowed yards for a lot of the widowed ladies from his church on the weekends.  I would go with him to mow, too.  He'd give me the push mower and he'd ride the riding lawnmower.  We would work in the carport sharpening blades and piddling.  

He would tinker for hours out there and come in smelling like oil, dirt and sweat.  Definitely a man's man.  I remember putting in my grandma's garden every year.  He would be outside tilling up the back yard.  Hard work that helped you greatly appreciate the fruits of your labors.  He was not afraid of hard work.

He didn't have many hobbies.  He loved playing cards and dominoes with his friends.  He also loved to bowl.  When I was younger, he bowled with a club called "The Buzzard Club."  To make it in, you had to bowl three splits in a row!  Here was their logo.  They had tournaments once a month or so and we would go all over the place for those.  

He and my grandmother were married for over 50 years.  I still have some of the tokens from their 50th wedding anniversary party -- pitcher, glasses, champagne glasses.  I'm ready to part with them now.  

After my grandmother died of cancer, he realized how much what she did day-in day-out was out of love.  She did all the grocery shopping.  She cooked all the meals.  She managed the bills.  She ran their household.  He never bothered with that routine drivel and it was to his own detriment because was completely at a loss on what to do, what to buy, how to wash a load of laundry after she was gone.  I remember helping him write out menu plans and making a grocery list.  

He loved her cooking.  He loved her biscuits.  I always thought some of the concoctions he consumed were beyond odd.... peanut butter and Karo syrup mixed together and used as a "dip" for biscuits.  My Pawpaw drank milk right out of the carton (gross!) Once I saw him do that, I never drank milk at their house again unless it was from a new carton or one that I would pour and hide in the back of the fridge.  He would drink picaunte sauce right out of the jar.  I remember many a nights, too, smelling onion breath.  He LOVED to eat green onions, raw, right out of the garden.  MawMaw (my grandmother) would keep them in the refrigerator turned upside down in a glass of water covered with saran wrap which was secured with a rubber band.  

He wasn't the best at being a romantic, either... but I remember helping him score some major brownie points when he did.  Point in case, one year they had a gentleman come into their home to do a bunch of work all at the same time.  He stole from them -- one bag in particular had my grandmother's wedding ring in it.  She was devastated   They had no proof so they couldn't file charges against him.  Flash forward to their anniversary a year or so later... I told PawPaw (that's what I called him) to give me some money and I was going to the mall to buy her a new wedding band.  I bought her that and a card with a big bouquet of flowers for him to give her... and he was signing the card and ONLY wrote his name.  I said, "Oh NO YOU DON'T!  You need to WRITE SOMETHING in there."  He froze up not knowing what to write.  I said, "Write, "Even if I had it to do all over again, I would still choose you.""  So he did.  And she cried.  She needed that... that ring...those words... and I loved being a catalyst to help bring them together like that.  

Just some of the little memories that come back when I see a photo of my PawPaw


Paula said...

What an awesome post. He sounds like most of the men from that generation! And oh the memories you brought back for me: onions in a jar of water in the fridge and karo syrup and peanut butter.....Thanks for sharing

Sandy said...

Beautiful story...I'm so sorry I missed that you joined the linky...I don't think I got an email notice of it. Will be checking more often from here out. I love the story, and the old photo's. I also like that you have a picture of the stone. I do that. Some folks think it's weird. The love was there, things were just different in those days. My folks didn't feel the need til later in life to be more vocal about their love etc. I think that was normal.