Dear Banca,

You are probably just as surprised (if not more so) than I for me writing you e-mail. After all, you died in 1976. For goodness sake you don’t know what email is!  The chances are good you wouldn’t recognize anything in my life. The last time you saw me I was fourteen years old. Now I am fifty-two, the age I think you were when you died. I don’t feel at all what I imagined you were were at this age, which was an awesome combination of Albus Dumbledore and Sean Connery (not that you would know of them either). I adored you; you were my favorite grandparent. I wanted to make you proud. Indeed! You and I have the same name.

I wonder what you would have thought of me. Nothing turned out what I imagined it would be. Becoming a doctor would probably have pleased you, but living in Arizona, voting democrat, and shacking up with a man for twenty years – what on earth would you have made of all of that?

I miss you. My summers spent on the CHARMAR III * are my fondest of childhood memories. I mark your death as the end of childhood.**  Every August 1st I mark your birthday with a dry martini. You loved them so. I can still see the plastic tumbler with its red and blue intertwining anchors where it marked how much gin I should pour into the glass.***  You wouldn’t believe what passes nowadays for a martini! Like you, I believe a martini made of gin is the only proper martini.

You were so pleased I was in the Boy Scouts. I was saddened I never got very far in it. I sense I let you down. I find it poignant I was only ‘second class” when you went to the great Jamboree in the sky.  Had you lived would I have achieved first class or eagle in your eyes?

Love is eternal,

Your grandson and namesake.

P.S. I promised grandmother when I wrote letters I would avoid postscripts like the plague but I have no good way to write the following: sitting on my dresser is the shallow copper bowl I made for you when I was perhaps ten. It holds some sundries including your jade tie clip and my first watch which you bought me. The watch stopped working decades ago and the tie clip is inutile given I wear bow ties, but they remain as do the memories.

* This was grandfather’s cabin cruiser. We went all over the Great Lakes in it.

** He was killed in a car accident, hit by a drunk driver, who also died.

*** Like Patrick in Auntie Mame I learned quite early in life how to mix his martinis.

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