My grandfather was like an icon to me. He was someone that I was sure would always be there for me. I counted on his strong shoulder for all sorts of advice a young adult would need. His words of wisdom and most importantly his friendship I depended upon on for everything. That would all change suddenly on July 6, 2002.
On that day my grandparents were eating dinner out. Leaving dinner, my grandfather pulled the car over suddenly without warning, laid his head back, and died of a heart attack next to my grandmother. They had just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary with the whole family days earlier. My grandfather was 73.
It's hard to believe that it has been ten years since his death. I still miss him tremendously, but I am not that sad anymore. Now I have a wonderful wife and family of my own, and the lessons that my grandfather taught me through the years and continuing to help me. It is like he is still here.
My grandfather was also the person who first got me into classic movies and music. I spent a lot of time over my grandparent's house, and he instilled in me a love of this classic age of great entertainment. Together we would cry watching Cary Grant in "Penny Serenade"(1941) or laugh at Eddie Cantor looking lost in "Roman Scandals"(1933). His basement was full of 78rpms, and I would call his cluttered basement "record heaven", and it was a heaven to me. I had problems with my own father, and my grandparents' house and my grandfather's basement was an escape to me. It seemed to me that my grandfather had every record I could possibly listen to from Bing Crosby to Vera Lynn and from Betty Hutton to Al Jolson. I spent many happy days in that hot and non air conditioned basement. I loved every minute of it.
So now ten years later I am reflecting on my grandfather's life with a mix of emotions. I think of him with sadness that he died too soon and too young. I think of him with happiness on what he passed on to me and of all the great moments we shared. Mostly I think of what a great man he was. There are many legends in Hollywood like Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, and James Cagney, but my grandfather was the biggest and greatest legend in my eyes...and he always will be.