Sunday, July 5, 2015

5 things about my grandfather

July 5 was my grandfather's birthday and I always think of him even though he died when I was 9. I will get sentimental again in a few days when it is Leonard Pennario's birthday. Pennario's birthday is July 9.

Anyway, about my grandfather. A few details:

1. He loved the Fourth of July. My dad, his son, would always tell us this. Boppa, as we called my grandfather, always knew where to get the best fireworks and he would amass a huge stash. My dad's mother would pull the kids aside and warn them. She would make them count their fingers and make them promise that after the fireworks they still would have all 10 of them.

2. His favorite hymn was "O Lord I Am Not Worthy."

The person who made that video got it wrong in that "O Lord I Am Not Worthy" is not Gregorian chant. But it is a very pretty hymn.

3. Where secular songs were concerned he liked the hits of the Gay '90s, when he was a boy. "After the Ball" fell into this category. And "The Bowery."

How about that? I have not heard that song since my grandfather was alive and here I am listening to it. That was the song, all right! We used to make him sing it.

4. Boppa had been a haberdasher. In May, in The Buffalo News, I wrote a story about my grandmother and the wonderful gift she left me. My grandmother died decades before he did. In her recipe scrapbook she had written she was "the wife of George Kunz, the famous haberdasher." I loved that.

5. I saved the best for last! When I was a little girl Boppa would babysit us and my dad would come up and kiss me goodnight as I lay sleeping and he would smell whiskey on my breath.

Yep, my grandfather gave me whiskey.

No wonder I loved him!

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