That was how granddad introduced himself to a room.
If you knew my grandfather, then you knew he was an avid sportsfan.
This past fall, I called up granddad on a Sunday afternoon, inquiring about a visit to the house.
His response, in an almost flustered tone, was “Do you know what is going on?”
I immediately thought a catastrophe, perhaps an international crisis.
Granddad proceeded “The Redskins are playing the Panthers”.
I don't know which perplexed him more… either that:
a) I didn't know that his two favorite NFL football teams were playing today
b) or worse that I knew they were playing and called him during the game.
Still eager, he said “Come on by the house, you know where to find me”
My grandfather was a Sportsfan.
My grandfather would come barreling into our house.
It was the most exciting words a grandson could hear because I knew that granddad had come by the house to rescue me from the dog-days of summer, and we were getting ready to go on an adventure.
When I was 5-years old, he'd whisk me away to “The Country” where we'd go hiking to the “The Tower” on his land, or he'd teach me how to skip rocks by his creek.
When I was 7, he leveraged his big family to field pick-up game of baseball at Green Hill Park.
When I was 9-years old, he threw me on the back of his motorcycle, and we'd go on one of his favorite hiking trips. Sometimes we would go exploring, and I learned that “No Trespassing” signs didn't apply to granddad.
When I turned 12, I won the “coolest granddad” battles with the neighborhood kids. I just showed them one of his advertisements in the Sunday paper and said “Yeah, my granddad is THAT guy!”
When I was 16, he gave me a job when no one else would.
When I was wrestling in high-school, he was my biggest fan!
When I went to college, he was the Office of Financial Aid.
And as I started to morph from a boy to a man, he even invited me to “Talk Business” with him.
I'll never forget my first conversation with him.
He politely told me that “Everything I had done was wrong”,
but coached me through how I could make it better.
It's almost as if he knew that if I followed his advice, that the endeavor would be successful.
Even though his grandkids' interests changed, he always found ways to maintain interest in our lives.
---------------------------------------Granddad was a lot of things during his life,
but there are two things I know for sure about granddad:
1) He was a Sportsfan.
2) And he was everything a grandson could ever want from a grandfather.
Condolences to the Alba Family. Rest in Peace Marine. Semper Fi!
Richie, Rhonda and I are thinking about you and your family during this time of loss. Never met your father but I know he raised a fine son. God Bless
Richie and Daryl, we are thinking of you at your recent lost. Been there already and it even hurts today, as I am older than you!
My parents worked with John at Stuart McGuire and I went to school with the Alba kids. He was a great person whom my parents thought so much of. I will always remember the day in October of 1972 when John and my Dad assembled the first set of visitor bleachers at Glenvar High School. May the memories be a blessing.