Thursday, May 05, 2011

I was just putting jelly on my toast and trying very hard to get it all the way to the edges. They brought my toast out on its own plate, and because I'd also asked for no potatoes, everything was on its own plate. As I held the toast, I suddenly flashed back to fourth grade and Mr. G's restaurant in Lomita.

It was my Grandfather's favorite restaurant, in walking distance from his house and only a block or so away from Saint Margaret Mary's Church. I don't think my Grandpa went to Mass every day at 6 AM, but if I was an alter server with the AM mass, then he went. At the end of the week, he'd take me to breakfast. We'd walk, together, from church to Mr. G's, and stop to buy a lottery ticket en route.

He didn't like his food to touch, and the toast had to be buttered and jellied completely--he ensured each nook in the bread was complete or he wouldn't eat it. His eggs had to come on a separate plate because he didn't like his food to mix.

When I was even younger than that, I liked to have "sleep overs" at my Grandpas. My Grandmother had died already, so he lived alone, next door to me. I'd go over and we'd play go-fish until I won. If I won, he's start playing Solitare. I'd ask if I could play and he's say, with a very stern voice, "No. This is a one person game." And I'd watch him play. I imagine I was annoying. His house was immaculate, everything in its place and the guest room bed being perfectly made (later, when I was in high school, I'd get the bed frame for my own). There was a Sacred Heart of Jesus lighted statue that "bled" electronically and other trinkets that I now know were typically Mexican, but at the time seemed simply "grandfatherly".

I just thought I'd share that with you all today. My Grandpa--someone who died when I was too young to know him as well as I'd like, but who left a great impression on me and probably changed who I am today.

I didn't realize, then, that the memory would stay with me this long.


Blogger ayleab said...

In the course of reading your post, wonderful scenes of me and my grandpa(kind of like SNL shorts but not funny) started going through my head.My granpa passed away some years ago as well, and it is awesome that I still have a very distinct recollection of what he was like. Some of my fondest memories are riding in my grandpa's car (don't remeber what kind exactly but it was one of those big blue cutlass types with wood grain on the inside). He always had talk (AM)radio on, and we would go to the "thrifty" for soft serve ice cream cone for just a few cents! or we'd buy a tub of vanilla and go home and sprinkle it with quaker granola cereal. Kind of trivial, but so special. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

9:20 PM  

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