This story is going to be about my dad - Earl Degraffenreid. To his friends and relatives he was called Buster, later dad or grampa. He was a great man who died too young at fifty eight.
I told you I lived in San Jose for a short time and that was when I lost my dad. We got a telephone call telling us. John and I had two kids at the time - Terry and Gary. Our sweet neighbor who had two kids of her own offered to watch them for us. We left for Watsonville right away. My older sister was there with my mom when we got there. She was married at the time but was a big help with my mom and a young sister and two little brothers. They were right there when he died. Now this old lady is just guessing on their ages but I think they were about eight, eleven, and thirteen. My mother was left with those little ones to raise.
My dad had a bad accident while working for resetar brothers. He was working with a drill of some kind that was too strong for him and it threw him against a big anvil. It cut the back of his head real bad. He was in the hospital in San Jose for a long time and when he came home he came home with a bad headache that never went away and wasn't able to work again. My mom was working at the time and continued on. It was hard on her with a sick husband, kids, and a house to keep up. My dad got feeling a little better and felt so guilty about not being able to work so he took over at home. He did all the cooking, housecleaning, kid watching, washing clothes and even ironing. He loved my mom and knew she worked hard for her family.
Shortly after my dad died John and I moved back home. We found a house close by my mom's so I could help with the kids. Here I go getting ahead of my story! We only lived in San Jose a short while and I was always close by to help with my siblings.
My dad loved his two grandkids. It was getting close to Christmas and my dad walked uptown to this baby store and bought them each a new rocking chair. They were maple and colonial style. He had no car so he had to carry them home and hid them in his little garage. He had a doll sitting on Terry's chair and big truck on Gary's. Santa was very good to them that year. When Terry and Gary grew up they had their chairs to pass down to their girls. Terry to Meghan and Gary to Heather. Along the way Heather's chair broke and Gary was going to throw it away. No way was grampa John going to let that happen! He brought that chair home and fixed it, but Gary did not want it back so guess what? Terry had another chair for her other daughter Erin and both my granddaughters still have the chairs today. It won't be long now that my great granddaughters - Sarah and Charlotte - will be putting those chairs away for the next generation.
Till next story time,
Mom, grama and great