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Keiser's Role A column by Trevor Keiser


Memories of Grandpa



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June 22, 2011 - It's interesting how death of a loved one can instantly bring upon reflection of days passed. For me those "days passed" were brought forward on June 7 when I received a phone call that my grandfather Henry S. Watson had passed away.

Many of my memories of Grandpa surrounded "Clarkston." Grandpa and Grandma lived in their house on Allen Road in Independence Township for nearly 40 years until they moved to Linden. I remember when Grandpa would bring me to Clarkston parades and me thinking that it took forever to get to town from their house.

It was on their five acres that Grandpa attempted to teach me how to swing a golf club, that was until my hands were rubbed raw from gripping the clubs so tight. I used to love when we would take a trip up to A&W in Ortonville for a root beer float or over to Cook's Dairy Farm for ice cream. Grandpa always got Black Cherry, Grandma, Butter Pecan, my sister Blue Moon, and me Superman.

Grandpa also loved taking us grandkids on vacations. Whether it was jamming to oldies on the way to Arkansas and stopping in St. Louis Mo. to go up in the arch or going up north to enjoy the fall colors, it was always filled with fun.

Grandpa was also a veteran. He served as a cook in the United States Navy between 1951-1956 during the Korean War.

Grandpa was a very straight to the point kind of guy, which is why he liked the book of Proverbs in the bible. It didn't matter the subject matter or the issue, Grandpa had an opinion and he was going to let you know exactly what his opinion was.

He loved to talk news and politics. I even came across a letter to the editor he had written in the Clarkston News archives. Growing up I remember him flipping between Fox and CNN and explaining to me the different view points between the two stations. At that age I didn't really care much for politics.

Funny how I got thrust into the political sphere when I became a newspaper reporter and finally began to understand why Grandpa had told me it was important to be pay attention to your governmental leaders and get involved.

As the squeaky little boy voice in me used to say "Hello Pappa" with a smile. Today I say "Good-bye Pappa" Thanks for the memories of days passed.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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