The Second of Three Remarkable People – Joseph – Final part
My childhood memories of my grandfather are quite different from the ones I have today.
I never knew Joseph the shipbuilder and never once wondered where he went when he left the house. I never knew that on those days that my grandfather went out, he was going to work and had a team of people who worked for him. (Love the fashion styles of the day! The woman on the right seems like she should could represent the beautiful women of the day poster.)
The grandfather I knew seemed a lot more serious than the pictures I have of him. It was my grandmother who was warm and fuzzy. But, when I look back at these pictures I see a man who loved children.
One of the things that he liked to do was take pictures. He also had a movie camera and I recently found some film dated 1960 which I had printed. Some of the clips were of me as an infant…watching him film me. I seem to like the camera in this picture above.
Here he is protecting my younger sister from the wind on a cold day at the beach.
In 1966 he retired and moved to San Diego. It was a new home that was built on a hill and overlooked the whole San Diego Bay. It was the place that I had the fondest memories as a child. One of my favorite features of the house was the atrium in the living room. I loved going there every summer before it was built up. We used to ride our bikes to the hillside so that we could watch the boys drive their mini-bikes over and around all the hills. And as I got older and into my teens, it was close enough to ride my bike down to the beach.
The grandfather I knew loved to garden. In this picture he is smiling and I think he really enjoyed sharing his love of gardening with me. He planted the entire landscape in the San Diego house. I loved the fruit trees and the roses and I remember it was the first time I had ever seen ice plant. I remember him explaining that it helped to keep the hill from sliding when it rained.
Even as I grew older he remained a part of my life.
Though most of my wedding photos are in slides, I did find this one of the wedding rehearsal dinner (above) which my grandfather treated us to. And another of the actual ceremony.
It seemed a natural event to have my grandparents at my wedding. I’m now inspired to get those slides on disk so I can add some more pictures to my collection.
And then came children…
I love this picture! It was one of the few times that my sisters and I were all in the same place at once. It is especially treasured as it has my grandparents with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren in it. This was also the trip that he and I went on the Space Mountain ride. I may never live that one down…especially since he seems to have aged a lot in the next picture. Did I do that to him? It’s only been a few years. Yikes!
Here we are…four generations. My grandfather, (grandma must be taking the picture) my dad and my aunt, one of my sisters and our two children.
Even in his golden years he seems to like being around children as he takes a moment to watch his to great-grandchildren play.
The grandfather I knew wanted to pass on a little of his financial wisdom by sharing with me his experience with being a runner for a broker and currying money to the stock market. This was one of his proudest moments in life. He also told me he owned a shopping mall. I never saw it but imagine it was a strip mall rather than a large consumer mall. Later that same year he asked me if I would mind if he made a little investment for my daughter. He did this with all the great-grandchildren. This investment was his way of helping to establish financial security. It was done at the right time and rewarded tremendous return.
The grandfather I knew lived a modest life. He was very religious man, active in his church and was a Mason. As he got older he and grandma moved to retirement villages and lived in mobile homes. When he died, his investments and other financial securities completely took care of the living members of his family for many years to come…and will continue to do so in the future.
The older, wiser me wishes that I had been more interested in my grandfather when he was alive. Through my genealogy research I have gained a greater depth of who he was and what kind of person he was in life. He is someone who I admire and I am glad to have had him as a role model in my life. It is interesting to observe that being a good person and doing well in life can benefit future generations. I am sure he had no idea that I would be so affected by his life. And I am inspired to create a similar effect on my own grandchildren.
Another blogger made a comment that seems appropriate to this post, “There’s something rather sweet about the way grandchildren know their grandparents as they are and not for what they do.” Legacy’s are for the future, I think I’d just like to be a wonderful grandmother for right now.
That ends this series about my grandfather. If you would like to read more stories about my family click here to see what I have written about the special people and place that were memorable to me in my life.