Mary Jane Piazza sent this to me a few months ago, and it seemed like this would be a good day to post it:

I can still hear the words as Dad hung up the phone: “Daddy is dead,” my father said. When the phone rings, even now, at 6 a.m., I say to myself, “oh no, Someone died.” What an incredibly sad day. I felt like there had been a paradigm shift in our world.

We wouldn’t be ‘going down to Jeff’ till the next morning, but everything that Friday at school seemed so surreal. I had just started my Sophomore year in High School. There was a football game that Friday night. I had a nice boyfriend who played trombone in the marching band. Our school was huge and to have a boyfriend in the marching band was the epitome of “cool.” I looked forward to sitting in the stands, cozied against all the sweaty musicians in their uniforms and their instruments to keep warm. I felt so guilty, though, being there, when my Grandpa was lying dead. I felt so helpless–and guilty for being at the game. All I could think of was Grandma, and how she was taking it. Someone said that she ran into his side of the shiffarobe and was hugging his house shoes and sobbing. Dad felt I should have been home, in mourning instead of the game. But I was indeed mourning. I bet everyone in the family can tell you the spot they were standing that morning of that Friday the 13th, when they got the call. But most of all, I remember all of us cousins crying, blowing our noses, and as soon as we pulled ourselves together, someone would relate another remembrance, and it would all start over again.

12 thoughts on “Grandpa

  1. I dont remember when we got the call but oddly enough I remember exactly what I was wearing. like others who were local…we drove out as soon as we heard about it.

  2. I can’t remember anything about Daddy’s passing except that I was told he was lying on the couch with his arms crossed on his chest. To appear to have passed in such a peaceful manner gave us great comfort.

  3. I can remember the phone call from Mother, It was early, I got up from bed to answer. About the same time I said Hello, Elizabeth answered her phone. She was on the same party line as Mother. I don’t know how that happened, that both our phones rang,We were on a private line. It was strange. Mother said, Daddy is dead. Elizabeth said I’ll be right down. and she and Justin went right away. I don’t remember anything else after that. After we got the little ones off to school,I went to Mother’s. The ambulance had already taken Dady. It’s hard to believe that was 40 years ago. Dady would have been so proud to see what a fine job all his Grandchildren did in raising their children and grandchildren.

    • Aunt Lolly you are such a beautiful wonderful aunt and such a good person! You are a constant reminder of what a wonderful family we have.
      When Grandpa died we were living at the farm in Centertown. I felt that I was pretty close to Grandpa – he taught me many things that I am now passing on to my grandkids. How to be ORNERY and have fun. When I found out that Grandpa had died, I went out to our outhouse and sat down and cried. I was going to miss him – he was the greatest. I was a pallbearer for Grandpa – I think that he should have lost weight before then or cuz Billy should have lifted more.

  4. On Friday the 13th I got up at the normal time and got dressed. I grabbed the milk bucket and headed out the door to go milk. The phone rang and when I answered it was Elizabeth and she gave me the news that Daddy had died. When the phone rang I knew something was the matter before I even picked up the phone. I told everybody the news and finished the chores.

    The amazing thing – we normally would get together around July 4th. for a reunion. This year within about two weeks of his death ALL the children came home to visit for some reason or the other.

  5. This is an afterthought about Sam’s carved Halloween pumpkin…I am sad that all the creativity and carving ended up in a pie or rotting away after Halloween. I wish our “family sculptor” would carve a pumpkin out of a medium that would be permanent. It was awesome, and such talent should not go into a pumpkin pie!!!

    • Aunt Naomi, I fully agree with you, but don’t expect to get a response from Sam. Apparently, Aunt Lolly and Uncle Ralph have decided that only their oldest son is allowed to say anything here on the website.

      So until Danny is no longer with us (or is bested in combat) don’t expect to hear anything from David, Doug, Sam or Steve.

  6. I’ll try to get the bros to write to you Lloyd.

    I remember waking up to a phone call and there being some confusion about what was said. I think that Aunt Elizabeth didn’t understand Grandma to mean that Grandpa was gone but rather that something was wrong. But with that being 40 years ago I was only several weeks old then!! Ha Ha.

    When we went to Grandmas for the first time after learning of his death I remember walking in the door and seeing Grandma at the doorway between the kitchen and the TV room. She was wearing an apron she always wore and just said to us “He’s gone, Dady’s gone”

    It was good to hear from Pete. Pete is in a lot of ways, alot like I remember Grandpa. Maybe cause he got to spend a lot of time at Grandma and Grandpas house growing up. Pete, have you ever chased any of your Grand-kids with a fly swatter??? Or, played “Old Maid” with them with a marked Old Maid in the deck? When Grandpa would end up with the Old Maid card at the end he would call it “Ole Pretty Boy” He almost had us believing it was fun to get the Ole Pretty boy card—

  7. Thank you Peter for your kind words, I love you very very much. Thank you Mary Jane for the sweet story about Grampa. I’m sorry Lloyd, I just can’t get the boys to say anything, They may not know how to do it. I would like to hear from them too.

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