Memories of Days Gone By

My grandfather died when I was 19. He was a man that was happiest when he was either playing with his model trains, playing with us grandkids or playing music.

He was a music teacher by day and a musician at night around the city of Chicago. Although he could play almost any instrument known to man, his favorites were the organ and his saxophone. He was a Jazz-man! He in turn taught his two children instruments as well, my Mother embraced the flute and piccolo (as I did) and my uncle the clarinet. If I ever get off my butt, I have records of these three, The Johnson Trio which I need to get into a professional to record these to CD. I’m sure these records probably only got one more ‘play’ in them before the vinyl gets scratched off by the needle.

After his partying days were over, he moved to a beautiful part of Michigan, right along the lake called Douglas. The house looked a bit different back then. It was a plain white farmhouse. It has obviously had a bit of a face-lift since then! My earliest memories include going there during the summer. I can’t seem to find an old photo of the house…

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The upper room used to be where my bro and I stayed.

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I was having a few growing pains of my own at the time of his death. I did attend his funeral, which was odd, as it was my step-grandmother who made the arrangements. We didn’t feel her distaste for us until that day. He wanted to be cremated, however she chose to bury him. I’ve not been back to this area since the funeral, well, until now!

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I really had no idea where he was buried. I actually figured the internet is a powerful thing… Let’s search it… I found a site called Find-A-Grave. That helped!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

15 thoughts on “Memories of Days Gone By

    • Very happy memories here!
      Yes, the house looks wonderful! I mean kudos on that landscaping, right? The neighboring town (Saugatuck) is a tourist attraction. It was ‘discovered’ about 20 years ago and the area has flourished. All the landscapes look wonderful. This area attracts many gay couples… And they know how to make things look so darn pretty!

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  1. Marvellous to hear of your musical background. Yes, Do save the music while you can. I spent months last year transferring all my Dad’s amazing jazz piano playing from old tapes (some 35 years old!) to MP3. I think music is a gift worth giving to any child, as then they have it all their life. My one daughter has just taken her Grade VII saxophone exam (already has GVIII clarinet, and various piano and violin.) The other did piano and flute and sings. I love to listen to them.
    I think the blue house is lovely 🙂 And I’m glad you found the grave – if only to see the clef sign there 🙂 And you are lucky to have known your grandfather and have good memories to cherish. My last grandparent died when I was only one.

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    • Wow! You brought up some talented kids! It seems it runs in the family! I will get out and find someone to get the records to mp3.
      I was in band in grammer school, however I didn’t want to be a band geek in high school (sad, I was more worried about my rep..) so I joined choir for 4 years. I think I’m a better singer than flutist. I then started hanging with musicians and did many ‘guest appearances’ for rock bands that needed a female voice for a few songs. Not sure how I didn’t start my own band (I also write lyrics) perhaps responsibly told me the chances of making it were slim.
      The upside with singing is, I can sing anywhere! And I do ALL THE TIME. Although I think many think I’m crazy, at least they don’t think I sing off key! 🎵🎶
      I love the cleft sign 🎼 on his date also, too cool!

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  2. Lovely memories. Both my grandfathers were lost to me. One died in 1947. The other when I was barely 3. It’s good to have the memories and don’t delay getting the music digitized.

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  3. What a stunning home! I can only imagine the memories that were made there. And even though it was white back in the days, the blue is simply striking.
    What a gift to have your grandfather’s music–not just in tangible form, but flowing through you as well. I hope you still play.
    And that clef is a perfect “note” to add to his grave marker. Sounds a most wonderful man.

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  4. Elton John said it:

    “You better get back honky cat
    Living in the city ain’t where it’s at
    It’s like trying to find gold in a silver mine
    It’s like trying to drink whisky from a bottle of wine”
    Actually I think getting back to grandpa’s way don’t do you no harm at all. cat!
    It surely is a nice feeling coming to to top of some bad feeling like cream to the top of milk.

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