On one of my visits with my grandparents when I was a young man, my Grandpa Ray told me he wanted me to have his diaries someday. His diaries were a collection of notebooks and calendar books where he recorded his daily adventures. Mostly they are notes about trips taken, people visited and most often, fish caught. He wanted me to write a book about him one day. I promised I would.
My Grandpa had a profound impact on my early life. From the time I could talk through my pre-teen years he was my hero. I loved spending time with him, especially our fishing trips. As I became a teenager, our relationship changed, but his influence remained strong. Grandpa remained important to me as I became an adult.
On later visits he would remind me of my promise. He also made me promise to make sure he was buried with his fishing pole and his fishing clothes on – he didn’t want to be buried in a suit. But when he passed, Grandma wasn’t about to present him in the casket in a flannel shirt – she insisted he be sent to his eternal rest in a suit and tie. My mom did manage to sneak a few fish hooks into his vest pocket.
Out of respect for Grandma, I didn’t keep my second promise to Grandpa, but I have begun my effort to keep the first promise. I have written several stories I’ll share here, with the hope that these will eventually become chapters in a book.