Saturday, August 04, 2007

I Remember ...

My maternal Grandfather served in the Royal Canadian Navy for about six years during the Second World War. He spent a fair bit of that time in the North Atlantic on a variety of tiny vessels (usually Corvettes) labouring in the engine room. As a child and youth I was fortunate to have been able to spend time with Grandpa and ask him about his Naval Service. I learned many stories from him, some tragic and some delightful.

But today I'm mindful of a visit I had with him when I was suffering from a foolishly obtained youthful hangover. Grandpa was a sort of sympathetic - under the smile, and shared with me his story of how he dealt with new ship mates who were not braving the heaving of the North Atlantic so well and who were in a similar stead.

He told me he would go to the galley and order a plate of onions, potatoes, baloney, and eggs all fried and slathered in butter and ketchup. Then with a mug of black coffee to wash it down, he would take his place at the mess table directly across from the green and queasy sailor. Grandpa's smile widened as he recalled tucking into the meal with great relish and watching his ship mate's reaction ... He laughed as he regaled me with memories of the poor sailors desperately heading for the head or the nearest ships' rail ...

I felt a little queasy as he shared the story ... and today with a mug of black coffee, a couple of tylenol and a glass of juice in my belly, I can't say the thought of sitting across from someone eating a meal like Grandpa's is at all appealing ... NOT today anyway ...

Ah the folly of youth ... the foolishness of middle age ... and the wonderful memories of a beloved old man !!!

1 comment:

steve elliot said...

hi shawn
this one brings back memories for me too. i wonder if he shared those tales with all the grandkids ?
cousin steve