Saturday, March 27, 2010

The end of a generation

My grandfather was a great man. Not a mere accolade from an adoring grandson, but great by any standard. Signed up for WWII the day after Pearl Harbor, returned home with his Australian bride six months after the war (due to his plane being shot down a week before Hiroshima and Nagasaki and him having to wonder around Luzon for four months eating mangos), worked for Ford for thirty five years, lost his Australian bride six months after retirement, and cared for the soil the way JHole tends to a beer.

My grandfather came from a family of seven children and I was pretty tight with all of them because that's what my mother wanted. My grandfather passed two years ago, and slowly his brothers and sisters have followed him. This week, the last of his siblings passed away.

My Aunt Nadyne was a dreamer. She and her husband made a million and lost a million at least five times. She had a scheme going all the time and was the perfect example as a child on why not to get involved in the futures markets. As a child I still remember ogling their fancy dance computers long before computers were a normal thing. In college I packed up those same compmuters (now relics) for the foreclosure sale. They had a ranch out of Navasota, TX where they raised cows, bees, grandchildren. We grand nephews and nieces frequented the ranch until we moved far away from it. Her husband hosted the family men on an annual trip to South Texas to "hunt" for deer (hunting meaning wake up, have a spread of food, have two Mexicans drive you out to the styx, shoot a deer, have the Mexicans dress it, return to base camp, eat and drink more, sleep, do it again the next day).

I normally wouldn't post of such personal things, but her story and my grandfather's generation came to a tragic stopping point in Marshall, TX this week. A young man broke into her home, beat her to death and took what few possessions she had left. And so the last of my grandfather's siblings is gone, and all the stories of my aunts and uncles will not be tangible to my children much like the stories my aunts and uncles told me as a tot were just that, stories. But to me the stories of my grandfather and his siblings are real and continue to be so. R.I.P. Aunt Nadyne, 1923-2010.

Her alleged murderer has been caught. Here's a photo.

Here's a story from the local paper. I like how the neighbor refers to her as a spitfire.


Anonymous said...

Wow. What a story.
Beautifully written. I remember you telling us stories about your grandfather in the war.
So Sorry for your loss B.


Anonymous said...

surreal and tragic. best wishes to you and your family Brett.

Anonymous said...

A horrible way to end a generation. My prayers are out for you and your family.


Anonymous said...

What a terrible thing to happen. Condolences.

Red A

mr. bean said...

Sorry Brett. Sounds like quite the man...........

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss Brett. I guess you will have to burn a little brighter.