February 07, 2005
One of the most intelligent people I ever met in my life was my grandfather. He was a Kentucky hillbilly with an eighth-grade education. But he ended up being a successful coal mining superintendent, he ran a couple of his own businesses and was smart as hell with money.
He taught himself most of what he knew.
He was a short, bow-legged man, much like I am, only I didn't go bald at 30 the way he did. He could farm and he knew how to make moonshine. He could build anything and did magnificent woodwork after he retired, until he started cutting his fingers off playing with his saws. He was smart enough to stop after he lost the second finger.
He lived to be 89 years old. After a while, he started telling the same stories over and over again and he wasn't nearly as sharp as he once was upstairs. He was tight as a tick with a dollar and you wouldn't want to horse-trade with him if you intended to win the deal. He also was the most honest man I've ever known, and if you couldn't handle the truth, that was YOUR fault, not his. He said what was on his mind and he never pulled a punch in his life.
He was a hellion in his youth, a hard worker all his life, and a stubborn old fart when he got old. I call that a trifecta.
I miss him.
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