“In Loving Memory”

What can I say about my grandmother that would best explain the person she was?  She made herself the highlight at anyone’s party because she loved to be the center of attention.  She loved to be loud.  She didn’t care what others thought of her, and she could outdrink any guy she knew, regardless of the affects it had on her ‘land-leg’ abilities.  In her late sixties, she drank like she was thirty.

She had traveling in her blood, so she was always up for a road trip.  She’d frequented the Outer Banks of North Carolina, listened as the ocean waves softly lapped the shores, and as she lay inside her rented dwelling; listening, she slept.  She’s visited Tybee Island and Historic Savannah, Georgia.  She accompanied a friend to Salem, Massachusetts, and while she was there, she took a tour of the Salem Witch Museum.  She went to the Mall of America during a business trip to Minnesota.  She even drove from her hometown of Little Orleans, Maryland to Chattanooga, Tennessee for her first great-grandchild’s 1st Christmas, and 1st birthday.  Her love of traveling didn’t stop there though, it was nothing for her to chaperone my school field trips, like when we went to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania.  In the summer, she took us on road trips and day drives to Luray Caverns, Idlewild Amusement Park, and a truck-stop in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, where we met up with my dad (her son) for lunches and dinners.

While my grandmother was a lot of things, and known by many names, her most common nickname was given to her by her first grandchild.  After that, we all called her “granny”, and all my schoolmates called her “granny” too.

She aspired to be a lot of things.  While she’s worked in a doctor’s office and for Maryland Cup, a factory job in Baltimore, Maryland, she carried many dreams.  One dream was to open a “Bar and Grill” like the ones located in Historic Savannah, along the pebbled street.  Another dream she had was to write children’s books.  She spoke of her character ideas, and plot lines, and made many notes.  If I remember correctly, she wanted to write using the pen name “Aunt Granny”.  The idea was cute, and had it happened, she might have accomplished that dream.

She was a tomboy, but she wanted to be a “Southern Belle”.  She was a legend in her own mind if you ask me.

As a child, she ran around the fields where she lived, eating fresh vegetables right off the plant, and climbing trees better than any of her cousins.

She had a love for Nascar, and tuned in every Saturday and Sunday religiously, keeping up with the Xfinity and Sprint races.  She either rooted for Matt Kenseth, Clint Boyer, or Jamie McMurray.

She also had a love for football, both professional and collegiate, but she may have just had a love for trash-talking.  Her favorite professional teams were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (she had a fascination with pirates), the Carolina Panthers, and the New Orlean Saints.  She didn’t root for them because of their stats, it was their location.  She also had an unnatural crush on a Saints fan, so she rooted with him.  As for the collegiate teams, she rooted for the Florida Gators (again, for their location) and the Georgia Bulldogs.  She was all for the “Dawgs” winning, unless they were playing her “Gators”, in which case she always rooted for the opposing team.  It was entertaining to see her watch the game because she was a mouthy woman that loved to trash-talk.  The year the Bulldogs played the Gators in 2010, and tied up the game forcing it into overtime, she refused to let us forget it.  We kept reminding her that her Gators only won because of overtime.  What can we say?  Any sports fan will take a win however they can get it.

Granny held a strong passion for the country music industry.  She followed her favorite artist like she was part of the paparazzi.  She had framed pictures of them lining her shelves.  Her favorite singer was none other than country music singer Kenny Chesney.  She had every album on disc, her iPod held a strictly “Kenny Chesney” playlist, and that’s all she listened to.  I remember many occasions, she’d ask me to look up the lyrics to a song, and write them down for her.  Her favorite Chesney song was “Boys of Fall”, and wouldn’t you know it, that was her most played song, and therefore torture because the song got old.

It’s amazing how things which drove us up the wall about her, but how quickly they become a distant memory in which there are times we would give anything for one last moment with her.  She was one of a kind, because she liked to be the odd one in the crowd, and she liked to follow the crowd.  It’s safe to say that whomever she met in life, she left a lasting impression on them.  She can’t ever be forgotten.

December 1942-2015

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