Monday, March 14, 2011

Tribute to Papaw Wood (published 3-14-2011)

Papaw Wood, my maternal grandfather, passed away on this day, March 14, in 1983. I'll never forget leaving the Morristown-Hamblen Hospital, after having sat the night shift, with him, thinking that Papaw was going to get better. Mom called me later, to say that her father had passed.

Papaw was a farmer, in his earlier years, in Indiana, where Mom was born. Later, he worked for Prater's Furniture, as a furniture mover, in Morristown, Tennessee. In his retirement, he worked part time, at a gas station, in Bean Station, Tennessee.

Granny and he had one of those all too rare marriages. Papaw courted Granny, all his life. They always had that spark! Even in their later years together, Papaw would sneak up behind Granny, reach behind her ear, and say, "I stole some sugar!" Granny would pretend to be annoyed, but then she'd smile and say, "Oh, Aby!"

Papaw was married once, before he met Granny. The first marriage didn’t work out. Some time after the divorce, as he enjoyed telling it, Papaw saw Granny, walking down Main Street, in Morristown, and said, "There's the girl I'm going to marry!"

I used to spend a week, during the summer, with Granny and Papaw. I saw how they loved each other genuinely. Papaw taught me how to whittle, carve wood, tie rope, work in the garden, and so forth. He loved to tickle me, until I couldn't breath! His mother's maiden name was Bair, which sounds like bear. Papaw would give me "a big ol' bear (or Bair) hug," as he'd call it. Papaw loved to pull little pranks, on Granny and other folks. I got from him much of my sense of humor.

For birthdays and holidays, we would either go to Granny and Papaw's, in Bean Station, or they would come to Rogersville. Well, they always came to Rogersville, for Christmas Eve and spent the night. I used to love to listen to Papaw "tell his stories," about when he was younger. I just wish that I could remember them all! I guess that I received my appreciation for good conversation from him.

At the viewing, before the receiving of friends, Granny looked at Papaw’s body, lying in the coffin, and said, “He loved me so good.”

Papaw, thank you for being so good to me! You were the best Papaw I could have ever had!

1 comment:

Christine said...

Wonderful story about your family. Great blog you have will be back to read more soon! Oh, I'm also following your blog. Hope you have a wonderful week. East TN is one of my favorite places to visit.