Louie wrote this letter in 1991. Since then, I’ve become a grandfather several times over. That perspective changed how I viewed Louie’s story. When my kids were little, they wouldn’t have gotten out of my sight. Now that number five is toddling around, I tend to be a little more lenient.
The primary contributor to that change is an increase in patience. A friend of mine stopped by the other day and told a story about his granddaughter. He had biked with her the previous weekend. She wanted to ride through a big puddle on the bike trail. Before we retired, before there were several grandchildren, both Ron and I would have said, “No way!” The kid would have gotten dirty, muddy, and mamma would have raised a fuss. Now the granddaughter wants to ride through the puddle again. And again.
What did my buddy do? Rode through the puddle again and again, until she tired of the splashing. That would be a lot of splashing. In retirement, like Grandpa Frandsen, we don’t have to get home to fix a toilet, there isn’t a problem at work that needs attention, the pressures of life have somewhat dissipated.
I can imagine the glee that Grandpa Frandsen felt as he watched little Louie ride off on the trike. He didn’t have to deal with the consequences. Mamma could handle it.
Sometimes I’ve wondered about the truth behind Louie’s stories. Some of them are a little far-fetched. Then I found the newspaper clippings describing his trike episode. You can see it at the bottom of this post. I can imagine that Mamma was perturbed.
Maybe someone can help me remember just where Pittsburgh Avenue and Nupen’s elevator were in Jamestown?
This is the start of an autobiography of which I was instructed to complete or suffer some kind of horrible fate such as take away my coffee.
As per instructions, I start with my birth. It is said that I knew that this world I was about to enter was not going to be all sugar and spice – so – I came in breach. That is like telling the world to kiss my foot. I have arrived.
Being an instrument baby, and accident happened that placed my left foot pointing directly towards my right foot.
Back then they didn’t perform miracle surgery to correct such things so my Mother and sisters were instructed to massage my leg every time they picked me up. Being a brilliant Havelick, it didn’t take me long to figure out that every time I cried they would pick me up and I would have a beautiful lady rubbing my leg. I am still crying to this day and find it harder and harder to find some beautiful lady to massage my leg. Enough of that.
One of my earliest recollections was of my Grandfather (Chris Frandsen). He was in his late 70’s when I was born but I got to know him and love him.
He was my buddy, ’cause he would watch me climb on my tricycle and take off down the road. He would wait until I turned the corner about two blocks from home then he would call “Kate, (this was my Mom) Donald has taken off again, heading for town.” My Mother would run down to the corner and try to catch me. If she couldn’t see me, she would head back home, call the city police and thell them I was gone again!
The cops would find me, take me home, where I was greeted by a very upset Mother, who tanned my butt and I would run to Grandpa for comfort. Grandpa most likely tell me “You will most likely have a better chance on your next try.”
Grandpa Frandsen died when I was very young, 5 or 6, and I sure did miss him. The only thing I didn’t miss was that two foot long stem pipe he had (brought it from Denmark), that thing stunk worse than a wet goat.
These clippings are from the Jamestown Sun and aren’t dated.