Grandpa Earl

I was going through my “memory box” recently. You know that box where you keep all of your old awards, notes from friends, hard-copy photos, etc.? If you’re sentimental like me, you’ve got one. I have to clean it out every few years or it gets out of hand. I really hate having “stuff” that I don’t use regularly (knick knacks, etc.), so my sentimental side always fights with my minimalist side. This time around, I decided to finally do-away with all of the paper memories. But I archived them all electronically first, don’t worry!

In doing so, I came across some things I had kept from my Grandpa Earl, who passed away a few years ago.

Here’s the weird little painting that he won me at the Mall of America when I was a little kid:

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He had taken me to the mall (just the two of us), and we were walking around the Camp Snoopy area, where we came upon a carnival-type dude who guessed your age. If he couldn’t get it within 3 years (or something similar), you got to choose a prize. I remember telling my grandpa that the guy should guess my age (I was small, so people usually guessed that I was about a year younger than I was).

But Grandpa, in his wisdom (or just general common sense), knew that that was a stupid idea (I was like 7, how far off could the guy be?), and suggested that he guess his age instead. My grandpa always looked younger than he was (he had red hair, which stayed red till the end, and he had a youthful spirit), so the guy definitely guessed wrong, and we won!

Grandpa let me pick a prize, and I chose this painting. I’m not proud of my choice. My grandma wasn’t impressed either, but when she expressed her (justified) displeasure, my grandpa told her that I chose well based on my minimal options (which was true). And I’ve kept it all these years (clearly never cleaned it though 🙂 ). Thanks Grandpa!

I also found this birthday card from Grandpa.

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It says “[Happy] Belated [Birthday] 9/26 [my birthday is 9/21] If Granma was here this wouldn’t have happened. Love, Grampa Earl 1998”

He was saying that the card would have been on-time if Grandma had been around. Grandma had passed away a few months before this. Aw, Grandpa, it’s okay, I didn’t mind. Love you too.


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