The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

Local News

July 12, 2012

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Medina Journal-Register — There will come a day, very soon, when I will take on the role of family patriarch to three generations. My many years of wisdom will be called upon to help mold another impressionable mind into a fine and upstanding adult human being. Man, that kid is going to be in trouble.

When my boy got married last year, I started to think about the possibility that I may have to step up and act grandfatherly at some point. When I was growing up, I remember how my grandfathers were to me. Much of what I learned from both of them helped make me into what I am today.

Movies and television try to act like some kind of “grandfather tutorial” that shows you what the all-American grandfather is supposed to be like. When mom and dad just don’t get it, there is always your grandfather. He may not get it either, but he really doesn’t care if he gets it or not.

I had a lot of uncles growing up, and I was always fascinated with the interaction between my uncles and my grandfathers. In that respect, it was a lot like what you see on television and in the movies. The reverence was there on all sides, but the ability to apply what my grandfathers tried to teach was not always up to snuff.

Here is what I learned about being a grandfather from all of my combined experiences.

1) Grandfathers have all of the answers. The answers aren’t always right, but they have them all. When you want the right answers, you go to grandma.

2) Grandfathers love tricks and games. It took me quite a while to realize that my grandfather’s “dislocated thumb” was actually a trick. I guess you could say that grandfathers spend their entire lives building up little parlor tricks that terrorize and captivate grandchildren at the same time.

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