August 03, 2009

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Morgan

Grandpa Morgan would have turned 94 today.

We were getting ready to head out to Bar Harbor. We made the trek a year earlier and Grandpa wanted to go to see some different places this time. We were on our way to Farmer Jack when he turned to me and said, "Do you remember that '67 Chrysler?"

Grandpa and me at his awesome 90th birthday party at the Corner (of Church and Main) in Clarkston, Mich. He opened the shop as a 16 year old in 1932.

We stocked up at Farmer Jack and headed out. We were going to drive into the night.

We talked about family history, the rough days of the '30s, and how kids today don't want to "put in the time." That was a frequent frustration of his. It was fun to have my Grandpa for a week every summer. Of course, we talked a lot about the Tigers. He was never a fan of Sparky Anderson, but even he agreed that somehow Sparky got his players to perform.

"Never liked the rookies, though."

We trimmed the length of the trip down because Grandpa's focus was on Bar Harbor and the classic car dealer there. More a fan of the fastback Mustang, I watched as Grandpa wrote a check for that classic '67 Chrysler.

How are we going to get that home, I wondered.

I didn't really know how to ask Grandpa, though. He knew what I was thinking.

"I'll drive the Imperial — unless you want to." It was "three on a tree," I think he said. I didn't want to ...

By the way, while we drove, Grandpa usually slept. I was nervous. Somewhat worried. I couldn't call ahead and tell everyone that Grandpa just bought a car and was planning to drive it home. He was 82 and liked to sleep.

We went to bed, still planning to enjoy Bar Harbor.

We awoke the next morning.

"Well, let's head back after breakfast."

I couldn't argue. I was surprised. But Grandpa had bigger surprises in mind.

We headed out. We drove 13 hours, well into New York the first day. I don't think I ever saw the road in front of me. I was driving Grandpa's Jeep Cherokee, but I was watching him in the rearview mirror.

The infamous '67 Chrysler.

We arrived home ... but nobody was surprised. Apparently, Grandpa had called ahead in Buffalo, New York, and told them that he bought the car. So, I worried for nothing. Nobody even chewed me out for letting him drive the car so far. They knew that when Grandpa Morgan made up his mind, there wasn't much changing it.

Grandpa Morgan was a great man. Even old men would come into Morgan's Service and call him Mr. Morgan. I always thought that was cool. Happy Birthday, Grandpa.

1 comment:

Carl and Sally said...

Yes He was my Hero and A Great Man to everyone who knew him!

He is sadly missed! And so is his
lovely wife Dora! The two of them
made 3 kids and their kids made great kids!

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!