Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy 100th!

My Granddaddy, Gwyn William Blevins, Sr., was born on May 12, 1912, so he would have been 100 years old today. If he was here with us, he'd make us laugh with his stories and jokes. He'd love getting to see his great-grandchildren ("the young 'uns," he'd call them).

Granddaddy loved a celebration, so he'd be happy to blow out his candles and have us sing "Happy Birthday" to him. And if it wasn't his birthday or if it was Christmas, he could hardly wait to give us the presents he'd bought.

I was able to spend a lot of time with Granddaddy and Maw-Maw, my mom's parents, because they lived only three and a half hours from us and we could drive down to Bel Air, Maryland from New Jersey for a long weekend or holidays. Some of my favorite memories of Granddaddy are of him in his garden or mowing the lawn (his own or the church's yard) or when he would sit in his recliner and listen to the Orioles play baseball on a summer night. And he was a devoted husband to my grandmother, patiently caring for her needs, even when he had to return shoes to the store multiple times. He was the grocery-shopper in the family (since my grandmother didn't drive) and could have won big money on "The Price Is Right" if he'd been a contestant (it was his favorite show).

Oh, and he loved to go get soft-serve ice cream at the local drive-in. After supper on summer evenings, he'd get us all in the car and drive down the road to the Arctic Circle for a cone. Wherever we went in the town where my grandparents lived, we'd run into someone he knew. It was always fun for me to go to even the most ordinary places with Granddaddy because he was always so proud to introduce me to his friends.

Granddaddy and Maw-Maw were so excited when I came to Nashville to attend Belmont College in 1985. They loved to watch The Nashville Network (TNN) and when I'd call, they'd tell me that they'd been "watching Nashville" that week. They got to come to Nashville in person for my college graduation and for my wedding. Little did we know that the last trip in October 1991, was going to be one of the last family occasions when he was healthy. Soon after my wedding, Granddaddy was diagnosed with bone cancer and he passed away in early January of 1992. I'm so thankful that he got to come be a part of those two special occasions in my life and I am even more thankful for the legacy that he left and the memories I have of my Godly, strong, fun-loving Granddaddy.

By the way, there seems to be a lot of other notable 100-year anniversaries in 2012. Maybe 1912 was a banner year, I don't know. Since I keep hearing about something or other being around for 100 years, I thought I'd put together a list (cause I like lists).

Here are some that were especially interesting to me:

1. National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.
2. Girl Scouts (I was a Brownie, Junior and Cadet)
3. Titanic (coincidentally, it's also the 10th anniversary of the movie, Titanic)
4. Hume-Fogg High School (Daniel's school)
5. New Mexico 

OK, I had to look up that last one about New Mexico, but since I've had lots of fun memories visiting that state, I thought it was worth including.

Yes, I think 1912 was a banner year, mainly because my Granddaddy was born!


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