Grandpa Claude’s Birthday – End of the Day for February 13, 2014

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As I mentioned back on February 12, tomorrow (or more likely today, when you are reading this) is my 50th Birthday. Despite having a birthday that falls on a major holiday in many places in the world, though, I always find myself taking a moment on February 13 and remembering my maternal grandfather, Claude Charles Farmer. I only had a few years with him, as he died in 1969 when I was about 5, but some of my earliest memories revolve around him. His farmhouse, in the the small town of Clarksfield, had only a pump handle in the kitchen and the bathroom was an outhouse in the corner of the backyard. To this day, I still remember the wasps that would nest in the ceiling and scare the bejeezus out of me as I sat there. The wasps aside, I remember him as a gentle figure, tall and lanky with shocking white hair. I don’t know why exactly, but I was often left in his care while my parents and two older sisters were off doing something or other.


My grandfather as a young man. This photo sits on our mantle piece

It is quite amazing what effect early memories can have. I remember he lived with us for a short time and, if I remember it correctly, we watched the moon landing together on his large black and white TV that had been installed in a bedroom we shared. He passed away soon after, but that memory has always stuck with me. I think because of these memories, I had always remembered that his birthday came 1 day before my own. I would guess, although I don’t remember it, that we would have shared a family celebration and probably a cake — if not, I like to think we did.

My memories of Grandpa Claude are so strong that when it came time to name our child, Rosanne and I chose the two maternal grandfathers as his namesakes — Giuseppe (Joseph), Claude. (We always also note that had our child been a girl she might have been named Fanny Rose, but that is another story (LAUGH))

So, here I am almost 50 years distant from my memories, but still remember them fondly. Joseph will constantly remind me of Claude even as I grow older. He has the same lankiness that I remember about Grandpa (and that I had when I was younger) and it is nice to remember that there is a little of Claude in him. I don’t tend to dwell on the past too much, but our fondest memories should always be carried with us as long as they can.



Me (Douglas) around 1969/1970

Previously on End of the Day:

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