Friday, October 23, 2009

The Meaning of Grandfathers

Pepere and Family at the beach

Talking about one's grandfather can be a fun exercise. What did Pepere mean to you? To me, he was the kind of person who I greatly admired as the patriarch of the family but I most liked him because he had a down-to-earth quality. I remember he took his work very seriously and always looked and acted professional yet at home on the weekends, he was as casual as the average Joe. I have this image of him walking around the beachhouse in shorts and a tee shirt snacking on peanuts with the Red Sox playing in the background. In both personas (business and personal), the quality I admired the most about him was he'd always make the people around him feel important. He was never self-absorbed. Maybe this one quality most explains why he attained the high level of success and respect that he did. I couldn't end this post without sharing a letter he wrote to me when I was around the age of twelve. I kept it all these years as sort of a testament of his personality and as a great example of how important he made me feel. The scan quality is low so I have translated it below.

Hi Craig,
You must be pretty special for Pepere to write to you because Memere usually does all the writing. But you had  such a good report card that I just had to congratulate you and also to send you $1.00. If you keep on getting good ranks all the time, you will probably be President of the United States when you get out of college. Pepere and Memere are very proud of you - keep up the good work.
PS I'm also enclosing $1.00 for Paula. She had a very good report card too.
-Pepere and Memere


Unknown said...

Craig, what a terrific project you have taken on. I'll sign up for your emails as I know nothing about blogging. Emailing is as techno saavy as I get!!
What I remember most about going to Pine Point is Ann, Mike & I singing this stupid repeative chorus of "I see Memere's cottage, I see Memere's cottage" as soon as it came into view. I think it must have been a contest to see who would get a glimpse of it first. Seems to me you could see from the main road as soon as you crossed that inlet/river. I remember the smells too. The slightly damp musty smell of the garage under the house with it's shower, workbench and shelves of pickles. The smell of the petunias over flowing the front window boxes by the stairs. The smell of the salt. Also the gritty feel of the sand as you descended the stairs to the beach. Funny those stairs always seemed so huge to me - thank God my legs got longer!!!

Unknown said...

Great blog Uncle Craig, I really enjoy learning about our family's genealogy. Thanks for all your work on this!