Casual Fridays is a bit of a joke at my place of employment, for the boss-men never dress up. As a bit of a spoof, I will ‘dress down’ from a bowtie to a long tie, which is usually loud with a colourful pattern. Last week’s long tie (covered in red chile peppers) needed a tie clip.  I got out the only one I have, which was given to me by my maternal grandfather.

Wearing this ancient tie clip made me think of my grandparents and ‘what I got from them’. I reflected not only on the material things but on the characteristics and traits they gave to me.  I may  joke I am a ‘hybrid tomato’ from my parents, but it is just as true to say I am a conglomerate of four very different people, my grandparents.

Here are some of my inheritances –

Martha; Maternal Grandmother

Tea – it was her drink and she  never was without a cup. I think of her whenever I drink tea, especially if it is Red Rose, which was her favorite.

Fretting –  and she was the one to do it.  “Channeling Martha” is a term we use for being worried or needlessly vexed.

Love for things Dutch – her Dutch background and influence continues to ripple through my life. For example, without blogging about my Dutch heritage, I wouldn’t have encountered Diederick or Peter!

Charles; Maternal Grandfather

Broadway tunes – I wanted to be just like grandfather, so I imitated what he did and liked. He liked Broadway soundtracks, so by golly so would I. Who knew I was a natural for it?  🙂

Martinis –  I still have one on August 1, his birthday, in his memory.

Knickknacks on my dresser – I have a shallow dish I made for him when I was grade school. On it is my first watch (which he bought for me), his tie clip, and the door knocker off I took off their bedroom door after his death.

My name – Charles is my middle name.

Angela; Paternal Grandmother

Expressions – She had several and I use them often.  “Gads!” and “Holy Gus!” and “Count me out!” are a few of them.

Playing the Piano – and I got her piano and her organ. We still have both.

Tiger baseball – I can still keep score.

Edward: Paternal Grandfather

I did not know Grandfather Spo well, for he died when I was very young. However I have as inheritances ….

My father – people say my father and his father were alike as two peas, and since my father and I are also alike, I suspect I am another copy of Edward Spo.  I wonder how far back this goes?

My love for reading –  In his library was a copy of “The Thurbur Carnival” which I first read it for the cartoons. When he died, I took the book; I still have it. As I grew I slowly began to read the book and not just look at the cartoons. So I will thank him for getting me interested in reading.


Dickie Purdy– Mr. Purdy, the archetypal Spo nemesis! He is known and loved/hated by all of grandfather’s descendants.   Thanks gramps.