Gut Rumbles

February 07, 2005

smart man

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.


My kind of man.

Posted by: Catfish on February 7, 2005 05:39 PM

My uncle Ky was like that. Didn't get out of elementary school from working the fields, but he could fix an old TV or any motor with a carburetor.

He was fantastic.


Posted by: Captain Sunshine on February 7, 2005 08:09 PM

"Moonshine"? You mean "home made wine", right?
That is one thing I've noticed about aging, the older I get, the more I wish I was as smart as some of the grammar school dropouts my family had years ago.

Posted by: Wichi Dude on February 7, 2005 08:22 PM

My grandpa Tommy was cut out of the same bolt of cloth. I really do miss him. He lived to be 92. Smoked all his life, since a boy of 13. Died of an intestinal blockage, NOT lung cancer or anything related to smoking. I wish he were here.

Posted by: Vulgorilla on February 7, 2005 10:52 PM

How come we never hear stories like this where grandpa was graduated 1st in his class at Yale Law and was Skull & Bones, Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa? How come its always the down-to-earth guy, who didn't get the fancy degrees that seems to be so revered by his family? No answers....just wonderin'.

Posted by: Lambert on February 7, 2005 11:02 PM
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