Grandpa’s Visit

Written by: Leo Lawton

My grandfather Will, and his younger brother Fred, came to our farm for an extended visit. I was around six years old at the time so it must have been about 1944. Grandpa was born in 1866, and Uncle Fred two years later, so they would have been about 78 and 76 respectively. They rode the Greyhound from Watertown to Ogdensburg, then walked the five or six miles to our farm from the station, each carrying an old cardboard suitcase and a walking cane.

They stayed for around ten days until one evening while my parents were doing the milking and barn chores Grandpa was correcting me for some mischief I was into. I was sassing Grandpa and told him he couldn’t tell me what to do as he didn’t even live there. This perturbed Grandpa so much he went into the house, packed his bags, as did Fred, and they walked out our driveway onto the road headed toward town. Grandpa was a fairly tall man, probably about 6’ 3”, while Fred was several inches shorter. Each carried a suitcase, and each had a cane over a shoulder with toiletry articles tied up in a red bandana. As they grew smaller in the distance I thought they looked rather funny so I entered the milking barn to tell ma and dad they ought to see this sight.

This, of course, was the first inkling my parents had of anything being amiss. My forty-year-old father ran up the road after them to see why they would leave without notice at that time of the evening with no bus leaving town until the next morning. All Grandpa and Uncle Fred would say was that they had stayed long enough. Finally my father gave up and returned home perplexed. If he ever found out why they left it wasn’t because I told him.

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