Sir and I


Sir and I

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

We called my grandfather ‘Sir’….
I certainly have no idea why,but my grandfather was always refered to as this. I have always regarded him as my favorite of my grandfathers. He was quiet-rarely ever said a word and often times kept to himself. I never thought about it,but Sir must of been post traumatic from serving in the trenches in World War One.
Sir never just sat  me down and explained things-I was too young a boy,for one,and we were not always around one another throughout the year…but often times when I look in a mirror I sense him and see him and somehow I understand him. Sometimes I believe it goes further than that-I feel I see things my great grandfather had seen. He was sea captain who sailed the tall ships….this was not Sirs father-but my grandmothers.Never the less-there’s a mix in there.
It is very odd to me to think that once upon a time I held the hand of a man who was born the same day the state of Washington became a state. Still a land hauled by wagons and horses.
I was never told by Sir that there was love for me-but I realize that there was by the things he did for me. He came to me when I was around ten years old and told me the the next day I was to go to bed by four in the afternoon and get some sleep. He never anything else-just that. Of course-it was hard for me as a boy to follow that kind of command so I tossed and turned and waited and watched the daylight through the shades. He came and got me right after supper that night and we caught a bus to the downtown part of DC. Sir was an iron worker and he had been working on the museum of Natural History-a part of the Smithsonian Institute. We went and sat up by the Washington Monument and ate dried hard boiled eggs-Sir had a packet with salt and pepper and we rolled the eggs in that for flavor.All of a sudden Sir says ‘here they come’ and we could see the flashing lights of police cars blinking up in the dark and we headed down the hill towards them.
What we saw was the truck hauling in the railroad locomotive that sits in the bottom floor of the museum today.
The place where we stood you could see the rigging and the cranes and men everywhere-some knew Sir and spoke to him.
I’ll never forget that night.

I often would go to a window on the fifth floor of the VA hospital here where I live. From that point I can see across to the campus of the University of Florida and I can see several buildings including the south end of the football stadium-all which I had a part in building. The football stadium was the project I hauled most of the structural steel to. I was at that place nearly every day of its construction.

I can stand at that window and think about Sir and think about how proud he would have been to know that by taking me to that site and seeing all that rigging eventually would be something I was surrounded by the rest of my life.

He died when I was about twelve. He erected steel until he was forced to retire at an ripe age of 75-I think he was still able to go.
He came and stayed with us a while when we still lived in Charleston and up town they were building a hotel. Sir and I would go on the bus to watch the construction-sitting on a bench across the way watching the cranes move concrete and the dump trucks clearing the hole. I remember him saying to me…although I think he was just saying it out loud to himself and I was just hearing it…he said that making him retire was going to take his life away,work was all he had.
He died when I was about twelve.

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