His hands were clasped, elbows resting on the table as he leaned in and talked. His knuckles were calloused from the lumber mills and coal mines, from the early mornings on the farm, lined and scarred by the years that wore on them. But his hands were thick and strong and inspired stories of hard work and safety. They made me remember my days as a young boy sitting in his lap, trying to pry my Granddad’s great fist apart as he toyed with me and slowly let his fingers open. Once I had it open, I would measure my tiny fingers against the palm of his giant hand.
His voice has a southern drawl, though he grew up in the hills of West Virginia. It’s smooth and stammering as he recollects stories from his childhood. Stories about how he asked his sister to get him a drink when he was hoeing corn in the sun. When she refused, she thought he was going to pull her pigtails so she took off running and locked herself in the outhouse. He chuckled now as he described how he took a hammer and wood and nailed the door shut!
He had a lot of words of wisdom this trip. Some were truths that didn’t need to be said, but he said them anyway. Continue reading