In Writing

Grandpa was born Clyde Lamar Hatcher in the Oklahoma territory before it had achieved statehood. When he was no more than two or three his father Mr. Hatcher passed away. His mom, Miss Effie Hatcher (nee Human, yes I have a family tree that includes actual humans in it) remarried a train engineer named Houk who adopted young Clyde. The family moved to Dennison, Texas because one day Mr. Houk went to the railroad station to go to work only to find a sign on the door that said “We’ve moved the office to Dennison, Texas and if you want to keep your job you should move too.” Or at least some close approximation to that. Well, it turns out Mr. Houk was a drunk. Once while driving his train he stuck his head out the window to look forward, only problem was the window wasn’t open. It was normally a really dirty window and someone had cleaned it and Mr. Houk didn’t know so, clean opening normally meant open window. He ended up slamming his head through the glass and when sitting at the dinner table years afterward he’d run his fingers through his hair and a glass shard would fall out. Effie Human, who used snuff and smoked a corn cob pipe divorced Mr. Houk.

Well, somewhere down the line Clyde got married to Dalton Ramsey and had a couple of sons, one of which was my dad. Effie became Ma. Dad had three sons, my uncle had a son and a daughter and Clyde and Dalton became Grandpa and Grammy and then along the way, they got Shag.

Shag is the one on the left.

Shag and my grandpa (the D is silent for me when I pronounce the name) would play fetch for hours every evening. On summer nights when baseball games were on he would sit on the porch and listen to the Rangers and watch bats eat the bugs gathered around the streetlight in the alley in Richardson, Texas. Shag would explore the yard and then stop by for some pets and explore some more. That’s why, if you were to ask me, baseball games sound the best through a little AM transistor radio.

Shag and Grandpa would run errands together. Post office, hardware store and such. Sometimes the grandchildren would ride along. Whenever we went under a bridge he tell us all to duck because he’d lost his hair going under a bridge. We’d duck every time. Although, from the looks of my head these days, I might have gone under too many bridges without ducking in my time.

I don’t remember this about him, but I recently found this photo and I realize now that Clyde made some daring fashion choices with pants.

He passed away in May when I was 7. I know I was in the second grade and it was the end of the year school party. A pool party and I had to leave early because we had to get up to Richardson.

Well, my wife and I never had the grandkids my parents wanted. We might kidnap a baby one day, but that is in the early planning stages. What I do have is a four legged helped to run errands. Some days, like yesterday, I have twelve legs helping with the errands.

Henry has learned that if he refuses to go back into the house, there is a chance he’ll get to ride in the car. Cassie and Marshal thought that running to the hardware store was too important a job for Henry alone and they tagged along. Marshal likes the front seat. He gets very super-serious in his job as navigator and watches the road intently. Henry and Cassie are a little more all over the place.

No one broke into the car. We hit an electric supply store, two hardware stores, the gas station and the grocery store.

We didn’t go under any bridges so nobody lost their hair.

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