Friday, August 30, 2013

A Unique Approach

         I really did not know my Grandpa James.  I was told that he was the black sheep in his family.  His biological mother died only a week after he was born.  He grew up having made quite a few errors.  He enjoyed smoking, drinking and older woman.  I’m not certain how he and grandma met as he was from Ogden and she was from Panguitch.  I think he may have had family living in Panguitch.  I don’t know.

          I would think he hadn’t joined the navy until after he married my grandma as they lived in Utah for almost four years.  My mom was two when the navy took them from Utah to San Francisco

         My maternal grandparent’s divorced after my mom had turned thirteen.  But I believe they were still married when my grandfather planted an early seed to discourage my mom from wanting to smoke or drink. Perhaps it was the year they divorced – I don’t know.  I just remember her relating the following (but I don’t know how old she was – or young rather)

         Her father took her aside and said, “[June], this is the day you get to smoke.”

         Both of her parents were heavy smokers, and I don’t know if she showed interest in wanting to smoke, if she ever tried stealing cigarettes or at least pretended to smoke. Perhaps he did it of his own free will with the hopes that it would discourage her.

         Mom said it might not have been so bad if he would have just given her a cigarette that had been a part of her life before birth – in the air she breathed and saw on a daily basis.  But Grandpa James lit up a cigar and gave it to her.  Of course she gagged and coughed and couldn’t (nor wanted to) finish.  And Grandpa James said something along the lines that it was okay, but that if mom chose not to finish the cigar than she might as well not smoke EVER


         I don’t know if he tried the same trick with the alcoholic beverage.  It seems like mom did tell me something but I can’t remember the exactness of it.  I just know it left an impact on her that she remembered – and shared.  NOT a good experience, but an educational one.

         This is not a method that I’d be willing to try out myself.  But I’m glad that it worked out for my mother.  I think she did say she tried a cigarette when she was sixteen, but never made it past the first couple of puffs.  Good job, Grandpa James!

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