I have been setting out our Christmas decorations and came across this trio of little figurines, each about two inches high. (It is hard to get a sense of the size in this photo.) I inherited them from my grandmother and they represent three phases of my beloved grandfather’s life. On the left is his uniform from World War I. He never went overseas, but he did serve in the Army. In the middle is his academic outfit. He graduated from Harvard with a PhD. and was a college professor throughout his life. On the right Grandpa is dressed in his liturgical robe. He never could decide between the church and academe, so he did both. He attended Harvard Divinity School and was an ordained Episcopal priest all his life.
I enjoy the smiles on each figurine. Grandpa was, as my favorite aunt used to say, “a hoot.” He loved limericks, jokes in bad taste(not terribly bad taste, just enough to annoy my proper grandmother,) “hillbilly” music and an afternoon nap. He was deaf in one ear from a mastoid infection in his childhood before antibiotics were available. The left side of his face was covered with a port wine birthmark. Neither issue ever mattered “a hill of beans” to him and so it didn’t bother us either.
When we were able to visit him at his summer place in Western New York he was always up for an adventure. He was the one who took me outside to marvel at Sputnik going by overhead. And he piled us all into the car when the town fire siren blared so we could “see what’s burning.”
I would love to hear from any readers about Christmas decorations which bring similar memories.