Friday, August 11, 2006

A Rich Family History

My mom recently returned from a trip to Connecticut and New York where she reconnected with several friends from her childhood and early adulthood. Many of the friends she saw knew her parents (my dear grandparents, who both passed on years ago).

Mom told me that it was so fun to talk to her friends and hear them recount stories of her dad. My Grampy was a COLORFUL man! He had a thick New York accent and had a tendency to swear like a sailor. One of the treasures we have of him is a video taken at a Shell station. In the 1960s, Shell was doing an ad campaign in which they had a hidden camera and they would have a "service station worker"/actor approach the car and ask the driver filling up why they chose Super Shell gasoline.

Grampy was one of the unsuspecting patrons, and he was in no mood to be trifled with that day. For about five minutes, the attendant/actor tried to get Grampy to say something, anything good about Super Shell. All Grampy had to say was, "I buy it because it's got a higher octane. Now, would you get off my ear?!!" Finally, after minutes of frustration, he said in total exasperation, "It's fabulous! Fabulous! Just fabulous!...Now would you get off my ear?!!!" Shell took his "Fabulous! Just fabulous!" and put it on a national commercial for which Grampy got paid small royalties every time it aired!!!

I love hearing people talk about my Grampy. They remember him as a fun-loving man with a BIG personality, who had a nickname for everyone. They remember him wearing brightly colored Pucci print and Lilly Pulitzer pants on the golf course. I remarked to my mom that it is so amazing that people still tell stories about him as if they just occured yesterday, and Grampy died 20 years ago.

I, too, remember him in vivid, living color. And I'm grateful to be part of a legacy of people who live life just that way....

I miss you, Grampy!

With love,

Your little princess

9 comments:

Cherry said...

So sweet!

Fabulous! Just fabulous!

Maya's Granny said...

I know how you feel. I miss my grandpa, too.

Ally Bean said...

this post is "fabulous. just fabulous."

what a cool story.

a-dub said...

What a great family story. I love it!

J said...

Oh, I miss my grandpa, too. And he could swear along with the best of them...

He was a complex man, with whom today I would surely have MANY disagreements on policy, politics, race matters, etc. And yet, above all, he is my Grandpa, and I loved him dearly. I miss him a lot.

Ad said...

i love hearing that your grampy was colorful with a zest for life. let's see, now who does that remind me of??? ah, yeah. tray-tray! (hm. who else? ah, sure. pammy and jilly!) i LOVE you and the life you exude!

Jilly said...

I seem to remember the little princess' nickname being contrary carrie. : )

Buttercup said...

Awh! Great post!! I love memories of my grandparents. One of my treasures are tape recorded conversations of their voices telling stories. Make a back-up of that videotape!

Mumbainthekeys said...

Tracy, I am one of your Mom's childhood frenny pals...and your Grampy (Geoff as we used to call him)helped me laugh through a particularly difficult part of my childhood...your Grandparents' house was always open to me as well as tons of others who were friends of Tan's and Bucky's....a real gathering place...they even built a room for all of us to gather, listen to rock 'n roll and DANCE!...Your Grampy used to call MY Dad, "Friendly"...and he is the one who started me on the road to HAIR COLOR!...His Company made it way back then, and he had a closet FULL of stuff for me to try..so when anyone asks when I started coloring my hair, I tell them 'when I was a kid'!...they were both warm, great and yes COLORFUL people!..I'll never forget Geoff and Dede!...and the perennially open can of peanuts on the coffee table...Mumba