John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey
the_gneech

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On Pipes and Pap

laurie_robey and I had dinner with my parents this evening, and since I was still thinking about this post from the other day, I started grilling my dad about my grandfather (who my parents always refer to as "Pap"), and in turn his father (my great-grandfather), Early Robey.

It turns out I had some of my facts wrong; while both Granddaddy and Granddaddy Early were farmers on the side, neither of them did that as their primary profession. Granddaddy Early was a huckster -- in the true, original sense of the term, not the way it's used these days. Back in those days, the role of a huckster was to go around from farm to farm and pick up vegetables, wares, and whatnot and take the goods into town to sell -- basically a distributor.

My grandfather was primarily a machinist and a mechanic. He worked on the rails, he made artillery during WWII, but mostly he worked on the D.C. transit company (i.e., Metro) buses, working his way up to the regional shop foreman position before his retirement.

Granddaddy and me, Christmas '73 or soAnyway, since we were talking on the subject, my parents gave me a print of the photo you see here, of me sitting on my grandfather's lap, many long years ago. My best guess puts this at Christmas 1972, when I would have been three years old; it might have been 1973, but it was definitely no later. Notice the pipe! You can see what I mean here about him being distinguished, I presume. Of all the pictures I have (or have seen) of my grandfather, this is the only one that actually looks like him, at least as I remember him, and this one has always been my favorite.

My father in uniform, WWIIWhile they were at it, my parents also gave me this photo of my dad in uniform, during his service in WWII. How this pointy-chinned, clean-cut kid turned into my scraggly ol' clown of a father, I'll never know! You can just barely make out any resemblance around the eyes -- and for that you have to squint.

-The Gneech
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