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Column for 6.15.11
Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, said this: ďWhen I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.Ē
Funny, but true. And that truth applies to grandfathers, too.
My grandfather was born in 1898 and died 90 years later. He is buried in New Forest Cemetery, Utica. He was a good man, a steady man, a caring man, an honest man, and a wise man.
My grandfather did more for me than anyone ever has or ever will. Alas, I was older than 21 before I realized how smart he was.
On the occasion of Fatherís Day, I will share some of the things I learned from my grandfather. From things he said, things he wrote and things he did, I learned the following:
1. Turn off the lights. The power company is rich enough.
2. The answers to all your questions are to be found in books. The challenge is to find the correct books.
3. Wash your hands. Wash your hands a lot.
4. In the winter wear a hat and overshoes. A scarf is good, too.
5. Set your watch a couple of minutes fast. An expensive watch is a waste of money. Get a Timex.
6. Donít leave food on your plate. People in other countries are starving.
7. Open doors for your grandmother and other ladies.
8. Save money on a regular basis. It doesnít have to be a lot, but save consistently.
9. Vegetables are good for you. Eat them even if you donít like them.
10. History is important. Study it.
11. Always keep change in your pocket so you can call home in an emergency. Never be afraid to call home.
12. Dwight Eisenhower is the best president we have ever had.
13. Use tissues not handkerchiefs.
14. If the telephone rings after 10 oíclock at night, itís trouble.
15. Pickup after yourself. Nobody likes being around a slob, not even other slobs.
16. Listening in to other peopleís conversations on the party line is wrong.
17. The older you get the less patience you will have, and our winters will seem to last forever.
18. Shoes are important. Keep them shined. Donít be afraid to spend money on the shoes you wear daily, not so much on the ones you wear for dress. Wear rubbers when itís raining.
19. Listen to people. Listen to their stories. Thatís how you learn things.
20. Donít buy on credit. Cash is king.
21. Be loyal. Have a long memory. Donít forget who brought you to the dance.
22. Much of life is timing. Some people have good timing and some donít. But people make their own luck.
23. Never forget the important things in life. Going to church is important.
24. Sometimes you need to keep your mouth shut.
25. Learn to fix things.
Those are some of the things my grandfather taught me. Unfortunately, I havenít always followed his advice.