My Grandpa Norman loved Indiana Jones.
He raised pigeons as a boy during the Depression.
He was in Cuba when Castro took over.
He worked in a photo lab when he was a teenager.
He served in the army during the Korean War. (I had mistakenly thought it was WWII)
He traveled all over the world for Healing the Children to escort children in need of medical attention to the US after he retired.Â This is how he met his beautiful wife Toni.
He became a vegetarian when I was in the 8th grade and living with him.Â He tried to make eating meat at meal times a miserable experience for me.Â It didn’t work.Â I do love a good steak.
When I was small we made secret spy names for ourselves by saying our names backward.
He made really good pancakes.
He referred to himself as the Humble Norwegian.Â Tongue firmly in cheek.
A very tall Buddha lives in his house.
He told the best stories just from having lived such an amazingly rich and full life.Â I asked him to record them once, I would transcribe them, but he told me no.Â He was too busy making new stories to take the time to record the old ones.
Toward the end, he was convinced that Barack Obama was one of his sons.Â (My conservative genes are a family anomaly).
I will always be grateful that in 2006 I was able to travel to Norway with him and others in our family to see the places we came from, to see where his parents grew up.
My grandpa Norman hasn’t known who I am for the last few years, but he knew he loved me.Â And he knew I loved him.Â I will always, always miss him.