1. That's a lovely tribute to your grandfather. I'm impressed that you can remember your experiences so vividly.

  2. Lovely story and memories of your earlier life with you grandparents, also the beautiful pictures, I loved it.

  3. What a beautiful story and reminder to us all to value our roots and past. Your words really brought back the essence of a time when things were a bit slower, and the photos are exquisite (please thank the photographer for me!) – I could almost taste the Old Fashioned! Finally, the memorabilia you have from your grandfather's books and of that trip – so amazing that you still have it – I haven't seen a hand-written ticket in decades! Thanks so much for sharing… ~ David

  4. I love the story about Uncle C and Auntie B such lovely memories of a very memorable couple. I miss them too. He also loved his Canadian roots he taught us to love Old Fashioned's & all things Canadian. I remember having my very first old fashioned when we (with my parents) visited with them in Fresno. I have not had one in many years will order one next time I am out and toast Uncle C.

  5. What a charming reminiscence. When I glimpse American families abroad and see their sulky teens glued to their electronic gadgets, sighing for the bland suburban high-school romantic interest back home, and rolling their eyes at everything their parents show them, I realize they have zero sense of curiosity, and wonder if — when they reach adulthood — they'll have any such memories to cherish about those travels. Thanks for sharing yours! – Mark

  6. That trip was one of the highlights of my life. We relived it many times in conversations and photos which, I imagine, kept the details so alive. I didn't realize how thick my folder of information was until I opened it, after many years, and found old airline tickets, letters from TWA, hotel receipts, and lots of tourist pamphlets. I always think of my grandparents when I travel to France. Thanks for your note!


  7. Hey Paul,
    Thanks for your compliments from England. I am happy to say that I've got a lot of English and Scottish blood, too.

  8. And, I'm sure it has been decades since you have seen a typed personal letter from an airline company wishing us well! Did you note the price of the flight: NYC-Lisbon-Paris-London-NYC for $356.00!! The tax, incidentally, was a paltry $3.00!!


  9. Hi Jude,
    "O Canada!" my grandfather was known to bellow out and then launch into the chorus of the national anthem of his native Canada! Canada remained in his heart until he died. You probably know that, per his wishes, he returned home to be interred in Burks Falls, a tiny town in northern Ontario (that can't be far from the North Pole).

    So good to hear from you!


  10. So funny you should express these sentiments. Our family trips usually entailed long car drives, seemingly endless ones in my young mind. Time was passed with games like "car bingo" in which you endeavor to be the first in the family to spot something like a silo or a railroad crossing, a sighting that would enable you to slide a little plastic window over a picture of the object. The goal was to be the first to get five "closed windows" in a row. Most of the time there were no silos or train crossings, especially in Mexico, so we were compelled to come up with new objects to look for. It was the never ending game and inevitably devolved into arguments–and outright fisticuffs–between my brother and me that my mother would have to officiate. By the time we reached our destination, we were exhausted but who can rest when there were mariachi bands to hear and Tiachihualtepetl to climb. Our family vacations taught me conflict resolution skills and inspired me to see more of the world. Thankfully, we had no little electronic gadgets or televisions hanging from the roof! i remember all those vacations with great fondness.


  11. My memories of Grampi are far too long to fit on this site. I'll simply say that March 10th is a busy time in our family. It's when , from coast to coast, we race to the phone to remind each other that it's Grampi's Birthday and nt to forget to fix an old fashioned and raise a toast to him. He perfected the Brandy Old Fashioned with help from the bartenders at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco sometime in the 1940s. Through the years it has become our Signature Drink.
    Grampi was handsome and full of charm. He was fond of show tunes. He would shuffle around the house, sometimes in his bathrobe, singing 'Rosalie" and "Oh,What a Beautiful Morning'. This year on his 106th Birthday, as is my custom, I made myself a "Grampi" Old Fashioned and turned on his favorite show Lawrence Welk. It was, as if they knew that this was a special day, they wer playing songs from the twenties,thirties and forties.
    As I raised my Old Fashioned in a toast,I shed a few tears and said "Happy Birthday Grampi!! We love you and we'll never forget you, and Oh,how we wish you were here".

  12. We are probably about the same age as I, too, spent many hours in the back seat of our station wagon with my siblings while Dad drove and Mom directed him. My parents loved National Parks. I think I have seen them all. My husband and I, in turn, chauffeured our children around the country every summer without any of the modern day devices that distract from one another and the world. I attribute our close familial relationships and my children's ability to carry on interesting conversations directly to these experiences. Thanks for a moving and provocative piece.

    Mary B.

  13. what a wonderful story.makes me want to go and make an old fashioned right now!!!!!! Be right back.

  14. I'm sure that Grampi has befriended Lawrence Welk up in Heaven and that they were together directing the show. Maybe Bob Hope, too!

    He's never far from us, is he?

  15. CHERS,



  16. Dear Susie,

    Max and I are reading again your lovely tribute to Daddy (or Grampi as many in the family knew him), and I have to admit that my heart always skips a beat when I am reminded how much we all lost when he drew his final breath. You have certainly shared the spirit of what he was like to travel with. Daddy had a great interest in many things, places and people, and he was always fun and full of intellectual curiosity about anything new. He had an Adele Davis book on nutrician that was as dog eared as the French books he studied in order to communicate with his business peers. He was also a very good correspondant telling us of his experiences every where he went. He was really quite an unusual man. Mom, God love her, gave him all the limelight.

    Well done, Susie. Time for me to wipe my tears.


    P.S. Time for me to make the Old Fashions!


  17. Susie: I am pleased to have been reminded of your lovely grandparents and to have learned more about your grandfather. For several years I wore a "grampi hat" (as you used to refer to your grandfathers hat) and I smiled every time I put it on. The picture of them both almost seem to come to life. Aw, but would it could. I shall look foreword to a good Old Fashion this weekend and remember them both along with mmemories of you. Much Love Barry

  18. P.S.
    I recall he (or perhaps you) introduced me to Brandy Old Fashion's and there after I always asked him for a Brandy Old Fashion. I think I finally gave him a bottle of Brandy along with .a cool cock screw concealed as part of a leather duck's head! At the time it struck me as elegant and cool. I was young then.

  19. Hi Pierre,
    Yes, you are right–that photograph does grace the wall in our house. And, I agree–the warm expression of sheer contentment is very moving.
    Thanks so much for your thoughts.
    Merci et Amitiés,

  20. Hi Barbara and Max,

    Thanks so much for your note. Grampi was, by all accounts, a character and a beloved one. You are so right that my grandmother–your Mom–did always stand in the background. I have a piece planned about MG, as we grand children adoringly called her, to come later.

  21. Dear Barry,

    Grampi LOVED that cork screw! And, of course, it added to the production of pouring wine! You were like family to him. Thank you for sharing your fond memories of him….we all had a lot of fun together, eh?


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