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Pat Shingleton: "Gramps..."

4 years 4 months 2 days ago Saturday, May 23 2015 May 23, 2015 May 23, 2015 3:00 AM May 23, 2015 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

Our grandfather, Bert Price, lived with us in the same house that his children were born. Our Dad returned from service in World War II, was away from our Mom for the duration and like many, got engaged and married. Mom was committed to taking care of her Dad in his house, even after our Dad desired to relocate to Seattle on a basketball scholarship. They decided to make their home in Ellwood City, PA. Dad bought our grandfather's house,  a retired "railroader" at US Steel. Gramps chewed Mailpouch tobacco, baby-sat his grandsons, gardened, and read newspapers: The Ellwood City Ledger, Pittsburgh Post Gazette, and The Grit, from front to back. He watched only two television shows: Lawrence Welk and Studio Wrestling, calling it "that thar rastling show."  He never had a driver's license, relying on our Dad and oldest brother, Denis, to collect him and deliver him to the local pharmacy and the Central Cafe. Wherever Gramps desired to go, he walked, sometimes "into town."  Mom would "chew him out" when he walked home, up Wiley Hill, when he had one too many...To give Mom a break he would walk me out to Shirling's Store, to visit with his buddy Jack, and buy me a frozen Snicker's Bar. When he wasn't walking, he was sitting on the front steps watching the cars - waving at them when they honked and spittin' tobacco juice.. No matter what the season in western Pennsylvania, he wore the same clothes: long johns, coveralls, flannel shirt with suspenders, boots, work gloves and his railroad hat. Our recent episodes of afternoon-evening thunderstorms reminded me of Gramps when we would sit on the back porch glider during a thunderstorm. Not saying anything, just sitting, gliding and watching. Great memories...

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