Character Sketch

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As a child I was fortunate to know all of my grandparents. Of all of them my paternal grandfather was my favorite grandparent. He was a tough little man, barely five feet six inches tall. He was never excessively over weight but he had a little round belly. He had a beautiful mischievous smile which I found utterly charming. Welding had faded the color of his eyes to the palest blue I had ever seen. He was hardworking, just, fun loving and surprisingly reverent. Granddaddy was retired from the Gulf Oil Company where he had been a welder for many years. He had his own little welding shop next to the beach house in which he worked every day except Sundays. My Grandfather let me help him in his shop by holding tools, finding tools, and sometimes holding pieces of metal as I wore big thick gloves and a welding shield over my face. People from all over would come to him to have trailer hitches installed on their cars and trucks. He was highly admired for the quality of his work. His prices were reasonable too. One customer paid him in watermelons. He had unlimited use of the walk-in at the corner store (payment for another job), so he took his watermelons down there and kept them in the cooler. Grandaddy was fair with people and he worked hard for his money. Grandaddy was not only good at his job; he was good at having fun when he was not working. Almost every evening we would pack up our hot dogs, beach towels, sand shovels, and buckets in his old De Soto and go to the beach for a weenie roast. He loved his old car, and it had seen better days, but it had a convenient hole in the floorboard to spit through, and it was a little tattered from being used for work so we couldn’t really hurt it by taking it to the beach. We would get there around three in the afternoon and swim in the silty surf for a while, then walk along the edge of the water and look for pretty sea shells to decorate our sandcastles with. Grandaddy was not too grown up...
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