According to Heracutus, “Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” All this quote is really saying is there is always that one person that leads and guides the rest to victory and this would be the best way to describe my grandfather. My grandfather, Odell Blakely, lived an extraordinary life from 1929 to 2010. I always looked at him like the leader of the pack, he never lead me wrong. He was the strongest and the most courageous man, he truly was the one true solider in my life. I could always count on him to keep me on a straight path. During some of these events such as The Great Depression and The Cold War he was a younger child but he still had struggles and hardships like everyone else. The Prohibition Era, when alcohol consumption affected everyone in a very negative way. Men were not staying and supporting their families the way a real man should, instead they were leaving their wives and families so they could spend their money on more alcohol. This is where the actual Prohibition came into play and it was known to have ways of saving the poor and protecting their young children. Luckily, 13 states banned the consumption of alcohol completely by the year 1855. Those states were known as the "dry states", this means that alcohol was completely banned and was in no way
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Thursday July 13th, 2015. I spent that beautiful summer afternoon on my back porch with one of the best grandpas anyone could ever ask for. My grandpa, grandma, mom, dad, and I treated that Thursday like it was any other. Although it was still enjoyable, I wish we made it more special. It was the last time I would ever sit with my grandpa and create memories like we used to.
My grandfather was an extraordinary man. He seemed to know exactly how to reach everyone on a personal level that was around him. This caused me to view him as larger than life as a child. He was the true adventurous type, and he had been that way since he was a child, at least that is what I assume due to his remarkable stories he told about himself as a young boy. He was the type of man that was so full of life that you could never imagine that life ever leaving him.
Richard Puz once said “Death leaves a memory no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” I don’t remember every moment with him but he was someone who I looked up to, someone who told me stories, someone who watched over me and someone who loved me. He was my grandfather.
My grandfather’s name was Charles Asa Davis, Jr. He was the son of Charles A. Davis Sr and Lois Lee Loggins Davis. My grandfather grew up in Bradenton, Florida which is about forty-five minutes south of Tampa, Florida. He came from an extensive line of fishermen and was a hard worker by all accounts. As a young man, he learned the art of plastering to better support his family. When building was slow, he would then go on commercial fishing trips for more income. My grandfather which we called him “Papa” was an honest, good, and tough man.
A bulky, vigorous elderly man, who had voyaged an incredible journey was prepared to combat the rest of his life with bliss. He appeared to be callow with small thin patches of hair connected to the sides of his glassy, bald head. He had only a single viable kidney sustaining his life, the other having been appropriated from him at the age of forty, but, nevertheless, he still managed to stimulate a lively charismatic presence around himself. Though his occupation remained only as an accountant, he still managed to regard the positive aspects of life. He would watch the adversities only as a spectator, and would attentively escape them with the people whom he loved. The land around him contained an hyperactive aura that compelled him to thrive from the energy surrounding him. I never understood how he could take pleasure in fervently listening to the repugnant chatter and bickering of the townsfolk that could be heard from my bedroom window. I never understood how the bittersweet melodies of the pecan colored nightingale that perched upon his chalky windowsill at dawn served as a source of amusement to him. I had always indulged in deep admiration for my grandfather, for he was a strong man that had guided me through the most difficult points in my life. Yet I did not have the ability to guide him through his.
I think the person who has had the most profound effect on my life besides my parents is my grandfather. I never realized before how much of an effect he had on my interests and goals for the future. Years ago, he used to tell me stories about historical events and experiences he had fighting in Vietnam and my great grandfather fighting in World War 2. His vivid descriptions always made it so interesting and, in some cases, more light-hearted than what actually happened. To this day he still has more stories to tell me, and never fails to captivate my interest. In doing this, he opened my eyes to my biggest interest, history, and encouraged me to pursue this interest throughout school. I feel like it would help to give a short summary of his life and how it affected me.
The year is 2004, somewhere in a cab. I hear the jingle of the beads attached to the Rosary on the rear view mirror, I see the trees flashing as if everything we left behind turned into nothingness. I remember feeling sad or scared but not knowing why. I see green, everything in sight was green. I felt the sinister whisper of the wind gently kissing the hairs on the back of my neck, sending a chill through my body. My mother smiled at me with tear filled eyes and a baby inside of her. Whether I knew it or not my life was about to change.
All movies have three parts, a beginning, middle, and end. This movie I’m going to share with you is no different, except this movie plays in my head every time I think about Papa. Even though I was so young I remember every day spent with Papa as if there is a movie reel going round and round in my head. Let me take you into this movie that I call life, so you too can experience Papa as I had.
My grandfather was a disorganized workaholic, a good listener, and a brave man. He was, according to one of his students, “… the Indiana Jones of linguistics.” I love that man because of what I have learned about him. I knew my grandfather when he was sick, but like many Parkinson’s patients, he had been changed by his illness, so when I knew him, he seemed more like a moving body than a person. When I was born, his sense of direction had already left, his muscles had already started to stiffen, and his coping abilities had eroded considerably.
There she is. Commanding the attention of all eyes as they enter the room. She is sturdy and she is practical. She is there for a purpose and does her job. She works the night shift and occasional days. She comforts the sick and tiered. She is full of admirable qualities. She possess the curves any woman would envy. She is a mixture of light and dark coloring. She is an antique. She is as sturdy and weathered as an old oak tree in the forest. She is polished but does not shine, and is scarred with the use of years. She has been with my great-grandmother for years. I am not sure when she first arrived because she has been with great-grandma my entire life. According to my Uncle she has been there for more than fifty years. She has remained steadfast through the years and different relationships have come and gone. She remains a family heirloom. She remains family.
The wind tasted of distilled mint and corn husks, to me this was pure happiness, it was the most enticing smells of my childhood. Mornings with Pops on the farm were a reward not a chore. I would get to spend time with our farm cats, cows, and horses if I was extra lucky that day. To be a child on a farm in Idaho is that having a new planet for your imagination to roam, the things my sister and I would find and could play in were enchanting. The possibilities were endless. After a long day's play it was crucial that we went to see my great grandfather and grandmother. My great grandma would teach me all I could take in about my japanese heritage. Both my great grandparents were born in Japan. During the world war my grandpa was drafted but he had fallen in love with a woman who he could not bare to be without. In the middle of the night they packed up all they could carry and didn’t stop running until they reached a small town in Idaho and built a farm from nothing. They were the perfect couple, my grandpa was a great entrepreneur and my grandma was a great teacher. From her I learn traditional Japanese origami, as much japanese as my six year old brain could hold, and how to make homemade japanese cuisine such as mochi and suchi.
A moment can be such a small amount of time but it can effect such a large part of your life. I was always very close to my grandma. My mom would always tell me that I would often times not want her when I was upset and I would only want my grandma. She had lived just a few minutes down the road from us. She was always there for me and I was always there for her. I would never call her grandma. I always called her “Mawmaw”. I had no clue what I would do without her. She meant so much to me. We would go out to eat together all of the time and we would also hang out at her house a lot.
my forehead and down my cheeks paired with my kind, warm eyes filled with knowledge and wisdom. I'm just your typical grandma, except of course, for the fact that I'm only 5 years old. You may think my life right now would be difficult, but if only you knew how my first couple years of life were. I mean, it was hard enough trying to wobble on 2 feet over to mom's open arms, but imagine doing that with a back problem!
“I can’t believe that’s true!” I exclaimed, my laughter echoing through the room. My grandpa and I had been chatting on the phone for the past half an hour. You would imagine a man his age would be boring and dull. However, he was quite the joker. At least with me, since I was, of course, his favorite granddaughter.