By Jim Callicott
I was named after my grandfather, my mother’s doing, not his. I was 15-years-old when he died. It’s eerie seeing your name on a tombstone while still on this side of the grass.
He was a character to put it mildly. He enjoyed a good laugh and liked telling his stories. He also had his philosophy on life. His main philosophy was that a man must have a nap after lunch. He followed his philosophy on a daily basis.
He was a farmer and often expressed his amazement of how he could plant a tiny seed in the ground and it would grow in to an editable plant, like corn. He also said it was amazing how a person could take that corn, sugar, water and a couple of other ingredients over a good fire and create a drinkable liquid that people would pay good money to buy.
He said there are two things a man loses as he grows older: his sex life and hair. He said the loss of sex life causes a man to pull out his hair.
He lived with us the last couple of years of his life. I remember when he was about 89-years-old we took him to the doctor for some ailment. After the doctor treated him, he asked grandpa if there was anything else he could do for him. That was a mistake.
“Yea, doc,” replied grandpa, “Can you move my sex life down about three feet?” The doctor looked puzzled and asked what did he mean by “move his sex life.” “Well, doc, it’s like this. Right now my sex drive is here (and he pointed to his head) and I want you to move it down about three feet.”
The doctor shook his head and the nurse left the room.
Grandpa was a self-taught fiddle player. He could perform magic with his bow and strings and make a fiddle talk. He would play every Saturday night at barn dances in the community. He said he had to give up playing for dances when he was elected a deacon in the Baptist church. He figured someone was concerned about his spiritual well-being or just didn’t like his fiddle playing.
Grandpa started dipping snuff about the time he was weaned. He said it was his mother’s fault that he always wanted to have something in his mouth. He would also smoke about seven Lucky Strike cigarettes a week. He said snuff was his passion and he only smoked so the tobacco company wouldn’t go out of business.
He died when he was 90-years-old. The doctor said he just gave up. I think it was his philosophy of life that ended his. He figured you lived out your time here and when it’s your time to go, don’t fight it. Go on and see what the next episode is like. At least, that’s the way I see it.