Happy Birthday Grampa
The last picture I took with my grandpa, at our family reunion in June of 2009
Happy Birthday, Nelson Coolidge Price
The following are just some thoughts and ideas I've had today, while thinking about what would be my grandpa's 95th birthday. It's not really in order or structured- it's more of a journal of my thoughts. I hope you enjoy them.
On July 10th, 1918, the world was given Nelson Coolidge Price- my paternal grandfather. Grandpa Nelson- or Nels as many of us called him- was an extraordinary man. He fathered four children- James (whom, due to his stint in World War II, he did not meet until he was eighteen months old), Dale, William (my dad) and Ellen, served in the US Army- serving in the Philippines during World War II- he was an educator and a principal and an amateur historian, and, perhaps most important of all, he was a believer in Jesus Christ and an active member of a small Baptist Church in Imperial Beach, California.
Grandpa died last September at the age of 91 and we all miss him. He was charming, he was funny, he was smart, he was witty- and he was always hungry!
During his twilight years, when he was forced to move out of the beach house he loved in Southern California due to his declining health, he lived in Mt Angel, Oregon at the Towers Assisted Living Home. This was great for me, because it was less then an hour away from my home in Portland, Oregon, and I'd see him frequently. Grandpa was a writer and published (on a small scale) several history books, outlining the Price/Geddes clan as far back as the 14th century in Denmark and Scotland. It was my privilege to help him edit his final book- which was an intimate collection of many of his fondest memories and anecdotes- which we brought to press and completed just two and a half short months before he went home to be with Jesus, No matter our progress, once lunch or dinner time rolled around, Ole Grandpa would insist that we stop doing whatever we were doing go to the dining room, right then and there, so that he could get his favorite seat by the window. Inevitably, he would get to chatting with his friends- many of whom were ladies- and we'd end up spending several hours chatting and eating and listening to his stories- which got increasingly more interesting as he got older.
Grandpa was a very proud World War II veteran and would often wear his WWII veteran hat. His favorite stories were of the fox holes he would turn into cabins, and of the battles he witnessed, and, yes, the food he would make, while overseas. Grandpa's experiences in the War have lead to my own fascination with that era of history.
He was a republican and not afraid to let you know it. His personal effects had letters of all kinds to all sorts of political leaders. He never let his opinion be unknown. I'm sure he loved the fact that he married a woman who's grandfather a Democratic State Assemblyman. I imagine the debates they got into were fascinating.
Barbara Geddes was my grandmother and she and my grandpa were married for fifty five years. She passed away on October 11, 1996. She was only 76. It came as a big shock to all of us- and especially to my grandfather, who- having discovered her in cardiac arrest in their bedroom- tried to revive her as the ambulance made it it's way to their home. When she was unable to be revived, we were worried the heartbreak over losing his life long companion would be too much for him and we would lose him shortly thereafter, Instead we were given almost thirteen more years.
When I was a kid, having a grandpa that lived so close to the beach was great. Grandma and Grandpa's house in Imperial Beach was just a block and a half from the Pacific Ocean and we'd visit several times a year. Before going to the beach, grandpa would always open up his hall closet and let us pick out a hat to wear- grandpa had quite the hat collection. I'd usually end up with a San Diego Chargers hat. He'd make us sandwiches which were somehow, the best thing we'd ever taste. He'd chopped the lettuce up very finely, dice up some onions, sliced the pickles, throw on a healthy slab of roast beef and slather it with mustard. He'd then pack up the sandwiches along with sodas, chips, and usually a cookie or two, and we'd grab boogie boards and and walk down to the beach, where he'd set up his chair and his umbrella and watch us catch waves while he slept, or fed the seagulls, or scoped out the beach scenery (and by beach scenery, I mean, women).
There's so much more that could be said, and I may say more at this time next year. I am very grateful to have known my grandpa- and I wish everyone could have. He would have liked you. I know he would have. So, happy Birthday, Grandpa. I hope Heaven is having a Matlock Marathon just for you.
Grampa Loved Matlock
My poetry collection
Thanks for Reading.
A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION, DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.
HIS WORK WILL ALSO BE FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, THE WHISTLING FIRE, SEE SPOT RUN ANDTHE BELLWETHER REVIEW.
HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOST WRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.
PLEASE VISIT HIS PROFILE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!
The preceding is copyrighted by me, the author, Justin w. Price. The content is my property and is protected by all applicable Copyright Laws. No part of my work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission from me, the publisher/author.