Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels

I had several people ask for a copy of the eulogy I read at Papa’s funeral yesterday…so just in case you wanted to read it.

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When Abby and I were talking about what I was going to say, she asked me just exactly how I was going to talk without crying because I cry at everything. I told her as long as none of you cried, I wouldn’t cry and we’d be okay. So let’s try to get through this together.

My papa was a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me he’ll always be tied with my daddy as the Greatest Man on Earth. Now if you knew my papa, you knew he was a man of many sayings. I can’t tell you how many times I have complained about having a headache around him only to hear “If I had a head like that and it didn’t ache I wouldn’t know what to do with it.” I’ve played Canasta with him enough times to know a “eighter is from Decater”, aces and eights are a dead man’s hand, a card laid is a card played, and you better not talk across the table. There’s another favorite that I personally never heard, ‘you can buy ’em books and send ’em to school but you can’t teach them…stuff”. Even Sonny had manners around his girls.

I’ve always said his beloved Abbydoodle was his favorite and she inherited his blue eyes and stubborn streak, but he and i are the babies of our families and i learned so much from him. I’d like to share a few lessons I learned from the World’s Greatest Grandpa:

Lesson #1: Always do a little more than is necessary. Papa was always up to something. He would show up to plow snow out of our driveway and he would have to hit every other driveway on the way home. It seemed like meme could never track him down. Right after he retired, meme joked that he would have to get another job so they wouldn’t drive each other crazy. A few days later he called her up at work and said “I got a job! I’m the new produce boy at Winn-Dixie”. He was always up to something.

Lesson #2: Sometimes your best friend shows up later in life and sometimes you have to help them finish their ten year retirement plan in three years. I think Mr. Walley is still wondering just how Papa managed that one.

Lesson #3: There’s nothing a pack of nabs and a Dr. Pepper can’t solve

Lesson #4: Never apologize for who you are. He was always a little rough around the edges. I think he actually needed Meme because she’d make him reel his personality in just a little bit. But he never apologized for it. He always said what was on his mind and you always knew where you stood with him.

Lesson #5: Older doesn’t always mean wiser. When I was around five years old, we were at the beach and I was sliding down a metal slide. I decided I wanted to climb up the slide instead of using the ladder. Daddy told me no because I would get hurt. But Papa told me I could as soon as daddy turned his back. Well…I slipped, fell, and busted my chin open. Now I have a scar to always remind me that sometimes papas aren’t always right and I’ll probably always be a little spoiled.

Lesson #6: A boyfriend,no matter how nice, will always be a railhead.

When my dad called me Thursday to let me know what happened, I couldn’t help but think of how Papa would always thank Abby and I by saying “I’ll dance with you at your wedding if I’m able”, and I can’t help but think this is all just some big scheme to get out of dancing with us. But I know we’ll get our dances eventually, so now as he would say, “here’s to it, there’s to it, now let’s get to it.” You’ll be missed Papa. Don’t worry, we won’t take any wooden nickels.

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels

  1. Maxine Whitt says:

    Sonny was a nice man. I’ll always remember how sweet he was when he was working next door and I needed to get in or out of the parking lot. Sam, the G’pa of the lil boy I babysat, who worked with him told me he was called Knobby when they worked on the railroad together.

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