Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day musings about Grandpa

This is a picture of my Grandfather, John Murphy, my Aunt Dotty, and my Grandmother Etta. It was taken in the mid to late 1920's. My Grandfather was a big guy, hard working. He worked for the Railroad Express Agency for 53 years! When he began working for the REA in 1913, he drove a horse and buggy. A few years later he graduated to a truck. My grandfather didn't have a great sense of humor, although his Irish/New York accent could bring on some laughs. He had a tough life. His Irish parents died when he, his brother and sister were very young and was raised by his Aunt Annie, who lived in a shack with a dirt floor - in the Secaucus Meadowlands.
This is a picture of Aunt Annie below. I don't think anyone would fool around with this Irish lady!

I have some interesting childhood memories of Grandpa. I must have been about eight or nine years old. Grandpa would come to my house early Saturday mornings, driving his REA truck. He would pick me up and bring me to New York City, through the Lincoln Tunnel, to Horn and Hardart, the Automat. This was neat store. When you walked in, you would see a wall of small glass doors. Inside each door there would be a sandwich or a nice yummy pie. For me, this was the Kingdom of Heaven! Grandpa would say, "here's a quarter kid, go get lunch." After eating, we would get back in his truck and drive to Hoboken, NJ, to the Dukes House, a fancy bar with high stools. Grandpa would sit me on the stool, and order himself a Rheingold beer. This beer was an important staple of his diet. I don't know what he would do without it. For me he would order a small glass of beer. I don't think I liked it much, but it was fun to sit with Grandpa at the bar, it made me feel important. Now, if Grandpa did this today, he would end up in the poky!

So today, I am thinking about my Grandfather. I think of my father as well, and all my family. I miss all of them so much. And now I am a father of two grown-up children, one is already married. It's hard to believe, time goes by so fast. I thank the Lord for allowing me to be a father, it is truly a wonderful gift. Of course, it is a huge responsibility. I hope I am doing a good job.

I pray that you all have a wonderful Father's Day. Enjoy this tune by Paul Simon, Father and Daughter. I post it here for my own daughter Cory Ann, who I love so very much.

The Watchung Presbyterian Church of Bloomfield, NJ message board. A good message for all fathers...

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