How A Sheaffer Jr. Warms My Heart
While I'm sure he helped other grandkids make their own "flippers", one thing that he and I alone shared was collecting coins. Grandpa started collecting coins in his downtime at the firehouse. They would exchange coins with other firemen all over the world (at least this is how I remember it) as something to do when not out on a call. He had books, and boxes, and containers of coins all stashed away in a big, gray, steel desk at his house. I would pour over his collection every time I went to visit and eventually started a collection of my own. He would bring me coins when they would come to visit and I would run off to put them in a protective sleeve in my room. He would just chuckle because he was just carrying them in his pocket with his keys and I treated them like a precious jewel.
Our family still owns my grandparents' home and we spend time there regularly, both to get away for a short time and to feel close to them. One of the many trips to their home, I found myself sitting at my grandpa's desk. It's big and grey with a rubber top for writing. I looked down at the big file drawer on the right side where the coin collection had once resided (it now has been passed to the family). I pulled the handle and the once heavy drawer opened easily and showed me it's emptiness. It made me miss my grandpa terribly. I shut the big file drawer and started looking through the rest of the desk. I pulled open the long, thin center drawer. It was filled with common items one would expect to find in a desk. I found a wooden, triangular ruler, pencil leads in a metal container, scissors, and a staple remover, among many other items. I started setting these more interesting items aside as I went, thinking about my grandpa using them and I felt better.
I now keep this pencil in my desk drawer in my office. Anytime I open the drawer where I keep it, I notice it sitting there. Very often, I will stop what I am doing and will hold it in my hands and think about Grandpa and all that he taught me.
I love you Grandpa John. Happy Father's Day.