Happy birthday to my Grandpa, Leon.
He would have been 98 today. Leon came here from Europe as a boy. He worked as a child to support his mother and siblings. His step dad was not so great a provider. A boy doing mans work.
Leon served in the pacific during WW2, returned home and raised a family with circumstances most men today would walk away from and not be judged. He did not. Leon worked nights and was thus around his kids as they came and went from school. He cooked, tended a garden, maintained the home and even made time to take the kids all over America by car to see the greatest place on earth.
He was no fan of hand outs and his life was proof.
He read any and everything, could talk to anyone about anything and had opinions he would stand by. His life was not a picnic by any means, far tougher in many respects than the average "woe is me" story today. I have not one memory of him complaining about it. He lived until 2001, passing just days before 9/11.
I'm glad he did not have to see that.
Leon was a father, son, brother, poet, sailor, fisherman, lover of good food, printer, reader, joker, golfer, bowler, investor, painter of eggs, an imperfect man who carved out a life in spite of the hand be was dealt, and above all he was my grandfather.
Gramps I trust you have had smooth seas and fair winds since we last met, you earned it.
Happy birthday. -Mick
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