Thursday, June 3, 2010

Breakfast with Pops ...

My sister sent this lovely photo of Pops (her dad, my step-father) taken at the local donut shop where they have breakfast every Tuesday morning. Tongue in cheek, she remarked that he was "so happy" I couldn't help but think of another 'grumpy' soul (besides Walter Matthau) when I looked at Pop's face ...

I was reminded of this cheerful little fellow ----->

Is it just me or do you, also, see the similarity?

What is it about men becoming curmudgeons as they grow older? And is that a fair statement/question?

I don't have any rebuttal on either issue ... and I'm not going to even start trying to defend what we old(er) women are called!

For the record, Pops will be 86 in November. He goes dancing with his "younger" (in her 70s) lady friend twice a week. At age 80 he rode a motorcycle from Oklahoma to Point Barrow, Alaska, with a 50-something fellow, taking a month to complete the trip there ... and back!

When he married my mother in 1955, he was 31 years old and owned two motorcycles. He bought a car and moved to Oklahoma the same week he married 'us.' He was fond of telling people he only married Mother because of her two kids. His older brother used to say "he was lazy and got a ready-made family." While dating my mother, the four of us loaded up on one motorcycle, with a picnic basket on the tank and went to a park one afternoon. A cop stopped him ... and when he learned that Pops didn't have a car and was taking his 'family' to the park .... the cop escorted us!

Pops was ecstatic when his daughter was born two years after they married. And yet he introduced my brother and myself as his children ... there was NEVER any distinction between his biological child and his 'step' children. Mother used to say she had 4 children ... our friends used to come to the door and ask if Pops could come out and play. He hang-glided, he built model airplanes, he constructed the best Halloween costumes, he worked hard to provide for his family, he took my mother all over Europe on a motorcycle, he scuba-dived, he danced, especially the 'Jitter Bug,' like a pro. He won over my formidable grandmother, no small feat! My mother loved him until the day she died ... one month before their 50th anniversary.

He escorted me down the aisle to be married in 1965 ... in a 'stage' whisper loud enough that the guests in the back rows heard it, he emotionally told me "Honey, if this doesn't work out, you can always come home!" He now argues that The Duck and I have only stayed together for 45 years to 'spite him!' He is a curmudgeon ... with a heart of gold. Maybe grumpy, certainly ornery, and my "Pops."


Bz said...

Can't imagine it is easy for a woman with kids to find a decent guy.
And.. 4 people on ONE motorcycle?!?!? ...geesh.
Oh, and the Halloween costumes... it's things like that kids remember... at least this one does.

Tatersmama said...

He sounds wonderful! In fact, he kind of sounds like my dad.
Mama already had a daughter when they got married, and daddy worked his butt off for years, so my older sister could go to college, have the wedding of her dreams, etc.

Libby's Library said...

What a beautiful tribute, to a sweet hearted sourpuss:-)