Grandpa |


Tales from the ONO Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

“Grandpa,” the sweetest, warmest greeting I could ever hear! I mean it, gentle readers, my heart melts when any one of my grandchildren say, “Hey grandpa,” or “Hi grandpa.” It’s just the way it has been delivered. I know that I have been accepted as someone they love and trust.

There was that time some years back when “Little Miss Martha” and I were notified that we were indeed going to become grandparents. Martha was overjoyed as most grandmas to be would be! Me on the other hand … ”wow, am I really old enough to be a grandpa?” Vanity got in my way I am ashamed to admit and I just wasn’t sure if I could pull it off and come across as overjoyed as Martha when the little bugger was finally here. I didn’t have to try and “pull it off,” no ma’am, I was proud as punch to be a “grandpa.” Then when others were coming along and they all could speak baby talk, I sank like the Titanic in an ocean of joy and excitement. Even today when they are all in their late teens or early 20s and they say, “Hey grandpa, how ya doin’?” It’s always delivered in such a way as to make me feel that the “GRAND” in grandpa is for me alone. It troubles me much of the time to think how Martha was in such distress in her final days when she asked me with a pained look on her face, “Jack, who will take care of MY grand babies?” She rightly assumed that every child needs a grandma to look after them.

I smiled and told her I would watch each and every one like a mother hen and I have.

One grandson just returned from South Africa where he went to climb rocks and go on safari. Another grandson is in the Marines in California and the last grandson is an apprentice electrician. One granddaughter is headed off to college, one is my “cowgirl” and is working on a processing crew in a large feed yard and the last granddaughter is mentally and physically handicapped. She is 22, cannot speak or feed herself and is still in diapers but she always “laffs” when she hears my voice! She makes it to my chair when we are in the same room and slides up in my lap to love on me. What a blessing she has been and the lessons we have learned from her are bountiful and all have absolute meaning.

“Pull quote.”

I never knew my grandpas. My dad’s dad died before I was born and my mom’s dad was very ill when I was a lad growing up. All I remember is that I would walk over to his bed where he always lay. At mom’s instruction I would tell him “Hello.” He would lay there with watery eyes, trembling hands and his lips would quiver as if he was trying to speak to me. He died at 78. He was a rancher, county clerk and farmer. Much of that time during the depression. A rattler bit him when he got off his horse to open a gate. The horse ran off and he was a mile from home and had to walk back. It was a tough period in his life and I am sure it contributed to his bad health.

If you are not sure about becoming a grandpa, don’t be. It is one of life’s treasures for sure. If you are a grandpa, love on those kids regardless of their age ‘cause pard, if you are like me, we are headed for the last roundup. I sure hope to be a GREAT “GRANDPA” in the future. I love the sound of GREAT and GRAND, it saturates my soul with a warmness like no other.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, be GRAND in grandma or grandpa and relish it’s benefits and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

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Mad Jack Hanks

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