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Friday, November 9, 2007

The White Man



Grandpa Varnadore, Amy met him when he was pretty old, and sick. but Dave and Jake never got the pleasure. He wasn't really all that old, but Parkinson's disease had taken it's toll on him. he grew up in Baxley Georgia, actually he and Nana both did, but never met till they were in New england. Cool huh? After Nana left and remarried, he moved down to Florida.
Mom tells us stories about how he was a carpenter, he built houses in his younger healthy years, and could almost build anything. He loved the look, feel smell and rawness of wood. My Mom found a cradle in a magazine one time that she loved, and sent it to him, to see if he could make it. Oh he could! And he did, it was a beautiful cradle, one of a kind too, made by her dad, out of Cyprus wood from Florida. How many New englanders have Cyprus wood cradles?
What i remember of my grandpa is Delta airlines. LOL Yes, he would always fly Delta, we had almost memorized how to get to the Delta terminal at the Bradley airport in Mass. This was way before 911 and all the security. We could stand at the big tall windows and watch the planes taxi and take off and land. We could watch the line of people walking off the plane, and look for the hat. He wore a brown tweed hat, always. Then we went down to baggage claim and looked for the big hard Yellow suitcase.
I have always wanted a yellow suitcase, only recently did it dawn on me why. Someday, i will had a hard shell yellow suitcase. :)

Anywho ..... then we drove home, and probably exhausted the already tired man with our questions, and stories and energy. He slept alot, LOL, but that was okay, he was pretty patient with all us kids. We took turns having him in our homes. Between the Plumley's and us, he was usually up for Christmas. At our house he sat in the horrid old lazy boy that had some weird old green pattern on it. In the Plumley's house he always sat in the pink leather Lazy boy. Yes, PINK leather! :) Aunt Christine hid it well with her afghans and such, but when you looked at it close, it was definitely PINK.
One year , when we first saw "The Princess Bride" we were dying to show Grandpa, we knew he would love it, he had a good sense of humor. So we put it in the Plumley's VCR, and all 5 cousins sat n the floor while he sat in his pink throne. Don't you know, he slept through the entire movie! The couple times he woke up, they were kissing. SO at the end we all peppered him for his opinion, to which he says .."That's the worse movie i ever saw!" :P
We went down to visit him one year, Mom Aunt C, Eric, Chris, Katie, yubby, Matt and baby Amy. When we left to go home, he gave us all tickets and money to go spend the day at Epcot center. THAT was fun! I will tell the Florida story on another day :)
Grandpa taught us how to blow straw wrappers into the vents at Wendy's. Mom LOVED that :) He also went grocery shopping with us in Keene at Sun Foods, and liked to take peanuts out of the barrels.
(see, they still sold peanuts out of barrels, just sitting there for anyone to scoop out a bagful)
So he would walk over, grab a handful and plop them in his pocket, then he'd shell them and eat them through the store. LOL He told Mom,
"if they didn't want people eating them, they shouldn't leave them out."
As he got older, he got weaker, he had difficulty walking, he kinda shuffled. He would go for walks down our road just shuffling along. One time Amy, very young at the time, took his hand and said... "Nono Grandpa, thats not how you walk, i will help you!" so she held onto his hand and slowly step by step showed him the proper walk technique. LOL SO precious! She was the one who called him "the White Man" He did have white hair :)
One of the reasons mom loved the house in bomoseen was the unfinished wood trim. It reminds her of Grandpa V. Of the kind of houses he would build, of how he loved wood, and the beauty of it. We don't have alot of things from him, but i think the most treasured item that came form his hands is that cradle.
It was made for a little baby girl who never got to sleep in it, and then, I came along, and gave the Cradle it's maiden run. He only ever got to see three babies in it. Me, Matt and Amy. Since then, it's held David and Jacob. Now Grandpa's great grandchildren Grant and Samantha have used it. That would make him Happy. :) I miss him alot, and i wish you had gotten to know him.