My grandfather was a handsome man who went silver in his early twenties. He had the bluest eyes I’ve ever see in real life. When he was young, I bet girls melted for the blue eyes/silver hair combo.
My grandfather was six months younger than my grandmother. When she turned 21, she told him she was going to celebrate at a bar, and he pouted HARDCORE.My grandmother - who had no intention of actually spending her 21st birthday in a bar - found him moping on a playground, took him home, and had a nice night in. Six months later, they celebrated being 21 together,
My grandfather was in the Navy during the Korean Conflict. He didn’t know he was a Super Secretary until then. He could type 85 words a minute. Bam!
Many miltary families travel together. My grandparents decided not to do this. My grandfather went to his international postings alone. My dad, who was the oldest child, made dinner and babysat while my grandmother worked a factory job. She was so proud that her tiny hands made her uniquely able to assemble small parts.
When my grandfather came home from a long assignment away, he and my grandmother couldn’t make their lives fit anymore. They decided to divorce. Months later, they talked again and slowly started to work things out. They remarried and stayed together for decades.
After he left the military, my grandfather worked in a factory until he retired. Because there were no safety sensors at the time, he lost three and a half fingers on his left hand in a steel plant accident. I have trouble imagining him with ten fingers.
My grandfather was 40 years old when his youngest son died. This was the annoying son, a problem child who would rather play baseball than study. He was going water-skiing on a lake with his cousin and got tangled in the lines. My grandfather loved his son in life, but was irritated by him. In death, he was able to just love him.
One time, my grandfather took an awkward step attempting to install a refrigerator, and ended up halfway through the floorboards of the porch, with wood digging into his thigh. The tests that the hospital ran made him aware that he had diabetes, running uncontrolled. That broken board on the porch saved his life.
One of the things my grandfather was proudest of was his talent as a bingo caller. He also volunteered to drive other senior citizens around town (to the bank, grocery store, etc.).
My grandfather was awesome at blackjack. Last year, he had double-bypass heart surgery. Instead of waiting for someone to come for him, he checked himself out of the hospital and drove to the nearest casino. He played blackjack for two hours before heading home.