Friday, June 16, 2006

My Grandpa

This is my grandfather Frank Paris Hunter (1879-1950). His trade was being a machinist. He worked for Glover Machinery in Marietta, The Atlanta Journal & Constitution in Atlanta, and Mead Packing in Alabama. He supported his wife Minnie and 8 sons and a daughter.

After my grandmother died we moved in with him.

His hobby was to drink whiskey out of pint bottles in brown paper sacks with his cronies who came around from time to time.. He hid his drink underneath the house.

When I got a bicycle for Christmas he was the one who ran behind me keeping me steady to learn my balance and thus taught me how to ride a bike.

Once he saved my life. The old house had two coal fireplaces. He would get up early every cold morning and get the fireplace started. And me, being an early riser, would be the second one up. One cold morning I backed up to the fireplace to get that good warm feeling and a cinder popped out of the fireplace onto my pajama legs and I was in flames instantly. Grandpa threw me down and rolled me.

My legs and buttocks were all blistered up. I don’t remember being taken to the doctor. It was just something I had to live with for a week or so.

One time we were out in the yard and a lady drove up in a pickup truck. The lady got out and asked if he was Frank Hunter. He said he was. She said she would like to talk to him and he said Okay, and shooed me away. But I stayed close enough to study their body languages.

After they talked they hugged. Then they talked some more and hugged some more. Then they talked and she got into her truck and drove away. Grandpa was crying.

I found out later that was his daughter from another incident. She was born in Texas. When she was old enough to come to Georgia alone she came, and there she was.

And there she went - never to be seen or heard from again.

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