Mentors: Granddad Petree

I have had the invaluable benefit of having quite a few mentors over the years.  I’m not sure that there is a much better gift from the Lord than a mentor.

My first mentor was my grandfather, my dad’s dad.  He was a quiet, strong man.  We grew up 2 miles away from Granddad and Memom’s place, and spent quite a bit of time over there.   By the time I got to be around him he had retired from his work as a tax assessor collector, and spent his days taking care of the farm.  Being with him in the summer and on weekend were some of my favorite days.

The things I learned from my granddad were invaluable.  I have never met a more patient man.  One afternoon he was working on a gooseneck trailer hitch, trying to get it to fit onto the pickup, and he sliced his finger wide open.  He didn’t yell out, didn’t really even flinch.  He just looked at me and said, “Let’s go back to the house for a few minutes.”  We walked in and he asked Memom to fill up a large bowl with ice water.  I sat with him at the kitchen table for the next 15 or 20 minutes watching the ice water turn bright red.  He eventually asked Memom to get some bandages.  She put the pieces of skin back together, wrapped it tight, and we headed back out to the trailer to finish the job.

Granddad was tough, but he also had a tender heart.  He was known for his back tickling.  With four siblings, that was a lot of backs to tickle.  I remember one night my brother Robert and I were sleeping in the same bed with Grandad.  He was in the middle and somehow managed to tickle both of our backs at the same time til we fell asleep.  And oh was he a good story teller, especially at night.  He would make up stories about Mongo, the dog across the street and we would listen intently as if he was telling us the best news we ever heard in our lives.

(More to come on Granddad…)


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