My Grandfather died of lung cancer when he was just 49 years old. I hate the fact that I have so few memories of him, but the memories I have sort of define what a 'Man's Man.' encompasses.
He was married to my Grandmother, who, at least when she got older could be classified as out of her mind insane. I'm sure he put up with a lot of her shenanigans while the rest of the family had no clue.
He drove a big boat of a car, a Plymouth if I recall correctly, and because I was his first Grandson, I had special privileges, one of which allowed me to stand on the front seat in between him and my Grandmother as we drove to wherever we were going.
He always seemed calm, regardless of the situation. I strive for that, but fail often.
He exuded masculinity, and I believe I've duplicated that. I'll take any heat that comes my way for being 'toxic' in that regard.
He was a WW2 Veteran but never went overseas. The family has vague memories of this, but the rumor was that he shot himself in the foot, to avoid being shipped off to war, he had a brand new Daughter on the way, and needed to be there to support his family.
I made a Freedom of Information request to find out more about his military service but was told the building that held those records had a fire and the records were lost. Ancestory.com has records that show he had an injury to his foot, but I can't recall if he was discharged because of it. I'm torn about all of this because I admire his understanding that my crazy Grandmother could never raise a child on her own, at the same time, I hope it's not true, because plenty of other husbands had to leave their families to go fight in the war.
I'm older than he was when he died, and that still freaks me out. I mean, just look at this picture, he had to be younger than 49 when it was taken. This was a picture taken while he was at work. He was a turret-lathe operator and worked at a company called Airflex, I believe I still know the area where the company was located in Cleveland, very close to a huge building that was, at one time called 'The Navy Yards' where I believe amateur boxing matches were held.
I wish I could have had more time with him to get to know him more, I know he would have influenced my teenage years, in a good way, but probably not the way I would have wanted haha.
This is just another mystery in my life, family members that have passed, and left questions in their wake. I'm going to dig into his once again, to see if I can learn anything new.