Tag Archives: grandpa green

Some Old Books

More from the Great Knee Wall Cleanout of 2023

Audrey’s Recompense by Mrs. Georgie Sheldon is an example of an American Women’s Dime novel. I’m going to guess that this belonged to my Great Grandmother Jesse Tyler Harris. The copyright is in the late 1800s, so maybe it first belonged to her mother, Jeanette McCornack Tyler. Or perhaps it just ended up at my mom’s house some other way.

It looks like, in the early 1900s a Ralph Victor wrote a series of ten books called Comrades Series for Boys. I have three of them, Comrades on the Great Divide, Comrades on Winton Oval, and Comrades with the Winton Cadets. The were part of the books from my Grandpa Green’s selection, but at least one of them has someone else’s name in it.

My Grandpa Green had quite a few books written by Horatio Alger Jr. I have at least three of them including, Facing the World, Young Salesman, and Five Hundred Dollars.

According to Wikipedia Alger “was an American author who wrote young adult novels about impoverished boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of middle-class security and comfort through good works. His writings were characterized by the “rags-to-riches” narrative, which had a formative effect on the United States during the Gilded Age.”

Apparently, also according to Wikipedia, Alger was accused of child sexual abuse in 1866 and did not deny the accusations.

Everything about Horatio Alger Jr. is news to me today. I thought the Horatio Alger books were about a boy named Horatio Alger!

Three other books for boys that probably came from my Grandpa’s collection are Lucky the Young Soldier by E. Sherwood, Tom Swift and His Electric Rifle by Victor Appleton, and Tex Loses his Temper by Gordon Stewart.

Tex Loses his Temper belonged to my Uncle Richard. I thought this was interesting — his phone number ends with a letter: 2773-J.

The Bobbsey Twins in the Country, surprisingly to me, belonged to my Aunt Ginny’s husband when he was a child. He really never struck me as much of a reader, much less Bobbsey Twins books.

Grandpa Green’s Pens and Pencils

I’ve written about my Grandpa Green a few times here. Some how I ended up with some of his pens and pencils. I know two of them were his for sure, and I’m pretty sure the other was his. In fact, I think that all the pens and pencils I found in a cigar box were my grandparents’.

This fountain pen with a lever was easy to establish as his. It has his name engraved on the band.

Unfortunately the ink bladder inside the pen barrel has hardened with age and shattered when I opened the pen so I won’t be writing any correspondence with this pen.

This vintage mechanical pencil was most likely used by my grandfather at work. I know this because it has U. S. Government stamped on the side. The third photo shows the vintage pencil with a modern mechanical pencil used by U. S. Government employees.

This last mechanical pencil could have been. I even think I remember seeing it sticking out of his pocket protector. It’s from the Loyal Order of the Moose — an organization in which he was very active.

I could definitely use the pencils for correspondence — not only do they still contain viable lead, I also found a few boxes of leads!

Guilt, grief, grandpa and golf balls

Me, the following summer.

I spent much of the summer before I turned 16 with Grandpa and Grandma Green in their lake house in Chetek, Wisconsin just as I had done previous years. I spent my days reading and writing letters to my friends.

Sometimes I helped Grandma with things around the house and sometimes I spent time with Grandpa.

Grandpa Green had a few hobbies — reading, playing solitaire, drinking beer in bars and golf. One day he asked me if I would like to learn to play golf. I don’t remember if I was actually interested in playing golf, but I was interested in spending time with him, so I said I would like to learn. He took me to Chetek’s golf course and I acted as his caddie while he played golf with his buddies. I remember mostly being bored and hot and the golf bag was heavy.

When I told my mom about it, she said that the reason I was in Chetek in the first place was to spend time with Grandma when Grandpa was golfing. While that was news to me, I had no problem telling Grandpa that I didn’t want to go golfing with him when next he asked. I could tell he was disappointed, but I didn’t want to tell him that my mom said I should spend time with Grandma instead. I told him I did want to learn, but just not that day.

Before I left for home that summer, he gave me three golf balls and some golf tees. Maybe he thought I might try to golf in Elgin? I am not sure, but I thanked him and put them in a bag and took them home.

That November Grandpa developed a blood clot in his right leg and had to have it amputated. Besides being afraid for my Grandpa — someone I loved as much as I loved my own parents — I felt guilty because I’d declined to go golfing with him after the one time. I knew he would never set foot on a golf course again despite people telling me that when he got his prosthetic leg he’d golf again if he wanted to.

The next summer he developed another blood clot and had more of his leg amputated, but he suffered a heart attack during the amputation and died a few days later, on July 9, 1973. He was 63.

When my mom, who was at the Mayo Clinic with my grandparents, called to tell my dad about his death, I listened to Dad’s end of the call through the door to my attic bedroom. I sat on the steps, sobbing while holding the bag of golf balls and golf tees that Grandpa had given me. I cried out of grief, but also guilt because I told him I didn’t want to go golfing with him the previous summer.

I still have the golf balls and golf tees. I keep thinking I should just get rid of them, but I cannot do that.