A Man Of Contradictions

Contradictions.  I think that might have been the best way to describe my grandfather on my mother’s side. Daddy Blaine is how all my cousins and I knew him. Many of his son-n-laws as well as daughter-n-laws also addressed him by this name.

He had fought his way across France and into Germany during World War I. He drove an ammo wagon pulled by mules. I have often heard him talk about being in the heat of a battle and the mules get scared and confused. He said it wasn’t any thing unusual for them to turn and run directly at the enemy line.

I remember, as a little boy asking him once was he sacred. He looked at me and said, “I was scared every minute of every day the years I was over there.”

Like any little boy, I ask. “If you were scared why didn’t you turn around and run home.”

I was very young but I still remember him wrinkling up his forehead and saying. “Gary Gene you can’t out run fear, son. It’ll eventually catch you and when it does it will be twice as bad.”

I have been any many places since then in which I simply either wanted to run or give up. I did not do either. He was right. The fear you feel now is nothing compared to the fear you find when you run.

If tempers truly have  fuses, his was short. This man could get mad at a drop of his hat. In fact, he often would throw his down.

I have been in the car business almost my whole adult life. Cussing seems to go hand and hand with sales. Yet in all those years I have never heard any one that could out cuss Daddy Blaine,

If there was ever, a child on the planet that could make him, mad and cuss it was I.

If he was looking for his hammer, I had lost it the day before. If he needed his axe, he would soon find out that I had been cutting rock with it. If he wanted to crank the tractor. Yelp, you guessed it. I had been playing on it and left the switch on running down the battery.

Any of the above would cause him to go into a rage and throw his hat down. Just depending on how red face he turned would help me decide what move to make next.

Neither you nor I have enough time for me to tell you everything about Daddy Blaine.

I would like to share this though. He was always building something. The only bad things about that was it seemed  he bent ever third nail and hit his thumb on the fourth. Again the hat was off and he would cuss in-between sucking his thumb.

By now, you might be wondering about his grandfather abilities.

Let me say this. No human being before on sense has ever made me feel any more loved or protected than this man. His temper always came through his mouth. The only time he ever laid a hand on me was to pat me on the back or brag about something I did.

As big of pain in the butt as I had to be. He never went anywhere that he didn’t invite me alone. I am a grandfather myself now but I am here to say, I still miss that old man.

One more thing before I close. When I was a small boy just past being a toddler, I was already following him all over the farm.

Back then he was a setter. If he was feeding the hogs, he would set me on a fence post. If he was plowing the garden, he set me on the horse. If he was driving the tractor, he set me on the fender.

When I was ten or eleven and we were down the road and ready to go home he would allow me to set on the hood. He and I both knew we would catch heck from Mama Blaine when she seen us come down the driveway.

Again, I miss them all. I have often used his name in my writings. I often gave one of the characters his first and second name, Robert Gentry. I used to sign my short stories with Good Night Robert Gentry.

I think I will end my blog with that tonight.

Good Night, Robert Gentry, I miss you.

Explore posts in the same categories: Growing up, March 2009

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