To close out unofficial Papa Week here a Kiki Writes About, I’m focusing on some of the good times. Papa was the funnest grandpa a couple of girls could have. There was always a good time to be had when Papa was involved. Maybe they weren’t grand or expensive or even a big deal, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
1. Going to the fairs. We went to the county fair and the Decatur Celebration every year. Papa and Grandma would take us and let us ride whatever rides we wanted to and buying us funnel cake and lemon shake-ups. Sometimes Papa would ride some of the rides with us. There might be albums of pictures from out times at the fairs.
2. Playing computer. While most older people shun technology, Papa was ahead of the game as president of the Decatur Computer Club. He got us our first computer (a Commodore 64) and taught us how to use it. Whenever we’d visit his house, we’d all get together in the bedroom to play computer games. Lode Runner, Family Feud, Concentration, Motor Mania, and the Olympics were some of our favorites. He, my sister, and I would crowd around the desk and crack each other up while we played.
3. Cooking. When Papa retired and Grandma moved her dog grooming business into the garage shop at the house, Papa took over the cooking duties. He had shelves full of cookbooks and he’d always have the two of us help him no matter what he was making. Even something as simple as pudding, he’d have his girls help him. I licked a lot of beaters in my childhood.
4. Going to the store. Yes, even something that mundane was fun with Papa. First of all, it was a quaint little corner store down the road from the house. Second of all, a trip to the store before lunch meant that Papa would buy you a Hostess fruit pie that you could eat for dessert. And, of course, it gave Papa an opportunity to show off his granddaughters.
5. Any car ride. Papa had a big old green boat car he called Nelly. It had afghans for seat covers and a woven leather steering wheel cover, all made by Grandma. It didn’t have much of a radio, so Papa would sing while he drove. Old songs, usually Hank Williams. I thought it was kind of cheesy at the time, but now I can’t hear “Hey, Good Lookin'” without thinking of him.