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The “C” Stands for Careful grass here and a weed there. Grampa’s mild-mannered instruction ended abruptly when Gramma came out to check on progress. She would go straight to the back of the garage, knowing that because Grampa could not see the back from his bench, it was probably not trimmed. She was always right and with a harsh tongue, she would order the work completed before any payment was made or refreshment served. “Ralph, you have to watch that boy closer,” she would scold. When the grass was clipped, raked and neatly trimmed, Gramma would authorize payment. When she was not looking, Grampa would press an extra, pocket-warmed 50-cent piece into my palm with a sly, unseen hand. Through the late 1950s and early 1960s, the arthritis grew more painful; cataracts obscured his vision, and the aspirin that he swallowed by the handful to dull the knives in his joints ate the walls of his stomach. He chased the aspirin with Maalox. Yet, he never complained, never cried out and never questioned why he had been so afflicted. I think the first time I realized that Grampa suffered so much was when my Gramma had to go into the hospital and I, being the eldest grandchild, was assigned to live with him while she was gone. Before that, I had always thought 36

Profile for Tidewater Times

July 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times July 2013

July 2013 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times July 2013