Memories of Grandpa RC

9 Apr


My grandpa who has been very sick and hospitalized the last few months, finally passed away today.  I say ‘finally’ as he had bone marrow cancer, severe pneumonia and heart problems and has just been miserable.

Below is a story I wrote to him for his 80th birthday.  Tomorrow he would have been 82.


It seems like I spent more time growing up at Grandpa’s house than my own.  While I have both good and bad memories (being hung by the meat hook and learning to swim by being thrown into the pool – both by Grandpa), the good definitely outweighed the bad.


I loved going to my grandparent’s house.  The first memories were at Reedview.  There was always someone there and I always had fun.  Sometimes Grandpa would have the sheet strung up in the garage and he would video tape all of us singing and dancing (and sometimes even picking our noses).  We would go swimming in the pool, watch movies, or Grandpa would teach us how to gamble.  And why not? There was a mini-casino in the play room complete with roulette and craps tables, a slot machine and even a pool table. When I would spend the night, we’d always go out to breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy.


Holidays were wonderful – always a packed house.  At Thanksgiving,  there would be tables full of food, and people everywhere.  One year Grandpa decided to have a “Turkey of the Year” award. He knew everyone would vote for him, so he made the prize a hundred dollars.


Christmas Eve was a night to remember… with either Great Grandma R playing the piano or one of the kids using the player piano rolls.  Everyone would sing along.  We would go back Christmas morning to unwrap our presents.  They were always very generous.  One year grandpa had a tree decorated with a deck of cards!


My friends loved going to Grandpa RC’s house.  We’d have swim parties there and everyone loved RC.


Grandpa even built us a tree house with a racetrack around it. 


When Grandpa and Grandma moved to MV, there was even more stuff for us to do.  By that time he had a Bingo Board, and he would let us invite our friends over to play.  We would take out the pink hippo around the lake.


It seemed like twice a month we had get-togethers… either for holidays or birthdays or weddings. 


Vacations were the best.  The year I was old enough to go river rafting, Grandpa broke his leg going down the river, and where did he go to recoup? Yes, Reno.  Then we went to San Diego.  Then we went to Hawaii.  I remember being on a bus going to a luau, and Grandpa got the whole bus singing… “Oh, you can’t get to Heaven”.  The next year we went on a cruise from Florida to Nassau.  I remember being at Disneyworld and Grandpa rented a wheelchair for us to push him around in. 


How lucky I was to have grandparents that threw Halloween parties for their grandkids.  When I was about 14 they told us we could each bring 4-5 friends.  They had the whole house decorated, complete with a graveyard in front.  There was a DJ and we danced all night. 


I wonder if anyone else has a grandpa that eats cereal over ice cream for breakfast.


When I was 17, we were on Family Feud together – FOUR TIMES! I’m so glad I was included in that.  It was so fun.


Grandpa always told me I was his favorite… but don’t tell the other grandkids.  Well, one day the grandkids were talking amongst themselves and it seemed that Grandpa told ALL OF US that!  Hmph!  When I talked to him about that, he told me that “I just tell them that so it doesn’t hurt their feelings…. You’re my real favorite.”  I know he was telling me the truth.


Over the years my mom has told me stories about her grandparents.  I can’t wait to tell my children about my memories of growing up at Grandpa’s house.


Grandpa, thank you for giving me such wonderful childhood memories.  I love you!



10 Responses to “Memories of Grandpa RC”

  1. curlywurlygurly April 10, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    i’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa. based on your writings, i can tell he was really special to you. i liked your memories of him–especially the game room and tree house with a racetrack!

    i’m thinking of you.

  2. lisamm April 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    I’m sorry about the loss of your grandpa. Sounds like he was quite a character. You have many wonderful memories and I hope they will be a comfort to you and your family. Big hug ((Jenefur))

  3. Honi Luv April 10, 2008 at 9:05 pm #

    wow…I’m so sorry to hear that your Grandpa passed. I have many many good memories of being at that big wonderful house with your family and lots of friends. It sounds like you will always have great loving memories as well. Lots of love and prayers to you and your family.

    We did have LOTS of good times at Grandpa’s house! Thanks girl! 🙂

  4. Allison April 11, 2008 at 4:37 am #

    Wow, what a neat grandfather for you to grow up with!

  5. Mindi April 11, 2008 at 4:59 am #

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. It’s wonderful that you have such great memories of him. My grandfather (who is 84) was just diagnosed with colon cancer and we are waiting to find out how advanced it is.

    Big hugs to you! (even though lisamm gave them to you first!)

  6. jenefur April 11, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    Thanks everyone for your nice thoughts. This man was such a stinker and had such a presence. At my brother’s wedding last October, I went and sat next to Grandpa to ask if he was having a good time. He told me in a very grumbly voice, ‘No, because I can’t dance anymore’. If he couldn’t be the life of the party, he was bummed! He sure loved to dance!

  7. morethananelectrician April 11, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    I wish so much that my children had the opportunity to know my grandparents. I am very sorry for your loss, but happy that you have these wonderful memories.

  8. Matt April 12, 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    Thanks for sharing that! That’s exactly the kind of Halloween party I’d want to throw for grandkids! That’s really cool about Family Feud!

  9. looksgoodinpolkadots April 16, 2008 at 8:56 pm #

    Live in the memories. It sounds like you had a great relationship. The end of life isn’t sad for the person leaving… they have gone on to something so much better! But it is hard for those left behind. Honor that memory. Teach your children what your Grandfather taught you. Love. Live. Rejoice.

    Sending Warm Fuzzies Your Way!

  10. LisaH April 29, 2008 at 8:37 pm #

    I haven’t been to your blog in awhile so I am late in saying I am sorry to hear about your grandpa. I’ll never forget that Halloween party. I must have told my husband about the casino in his house a million times.
    I know he was sick but it’s still so hard. 😦

    Thanks girl. We did have a fun time at that party. I’ll have to dig up the pictures and post them sometime. I think you were a showgirl and I was Tammy Faye Bakker. LOL

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