Monday, January 01, 2007

Grandpa K's personal gift


If you live around here, you may be familiar with a guy named Howard Kirkpatrick. But wherever you live, you probably know someone like him.

At age 86, "Grandpa K" is the patriarch of a family I'm good friends with, and he's lived a very long, full life. He spent most of it around here, so lots of people know him. (you should see him walk through the grocery store, he knows everyone!) Just a really neat, good man.

So when he decided to record some of the stories that make up his life to give to his family, I was happy to provide the time and equipment. We used a wireless microphone and recorded the interview while sitting at the dining room table with a cup of coffee.

I burned his stories, along with a few songs he's famous for singing, onto two CDs... and he gave copies to his kids and grandkids for Christmas this year. Apparently, there wasn't a dry eye in the place when he handed them out.

I think it's a great idea! The stories that make up the patchwork of our lives might otherwise die with us. To keep them alive for your family is a loving gesture, and a great way to pass along your legacy.

These photos were taken during our "conversation"... it's amazing how much you can tell about a person just from a photo.



Thanks Grandpa K. I think you're "the cat's pajamas." I will always remember our chat.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

And just think: You got to hear the pajama first!

Anonymous said...

Dave,
THANK you so much for doing this. I haven't even gotten my copy yet, but am so overwhelmed with gratitude that I am in tears as I write this.

You have no idea what this means to my family. We have tried for years to get him to do this.

The time and energy you spent on it is such a blessing to all of us.

I bet you haven't been told you were a blessing in a long time, but you are to our family.

God Bless YOU!!!! And THANK YOU so much. Jen.....

Anonymous said...

I am so glad he did that for his family. My Grandfather wrote a book a few years ago - it's the best gift I could have ever received...especially now.

Anonymous said...

That is just about the greatest Christmas present I have ever heard of. Dave, you are very blessed to have been able to be such a significant part of making that happen, and Jen & family, Wow! I know this is a gift that will be a tremendous legacy for generations to come. The thing I miss most in the world is the sound of my father's voice. I would give anything to have just 5 seconds of his laugh recorded somewhere. This was so cool of "Grandpa K."

Anonymous said...

You did a great job Dave! They all loved it. It meant a lot to them that you and Grandpa K. teamed up to do this for them.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

This may be a big thing to ask, but would you post some quotes from this project? I'll bet you derive a great collection of wisdom from that interview.

Anonymous said...

When I first married into the family "Grandpa K" used to corner me and tell me story after story. He would come into my office (because he's retired and that's what retired people do!) and babble for an hour at a time. I told Paula it had to stop because the storie COULDN'T be true.

One story was about the time he took shrapnel in his side and they had to pull two ribs out-- with no medicine-- and told him to chew on a piece of leather for the pain. And then they told him to pour whiskey on the wound so it wouldn't infect...

A month later he come into my office as a patient and when he lifted his shirt I asked him, "What the hell happened there on your back?! There's a 3 inch hole that healed without stitches!"

"Well, I told ya... that's where they took my ribs out. Don'tcha remember the schrapnel?!"

Since that day I listened to every story he told. Now we the whole family can enjoy them!

Thanks, Dave! You did an awesome job. You probably added a couple extra years to Grandpa K's life, too... he'd so happy he can't quit singing!

It's Me, Maven... said...

I have a friend who (and her sisters) are putting together a family quilt for her niece. They also put together a book about the family. I love these types of endeavors!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful gift!

mckay said...

i've thought about this many times...wishing i had been old enough and smart enough to think to record my grandmother's stories she told as we played countless hands of gin rummy. she was a flapper in the 20s, for gosh sakes!

randommoments said...

I love love love this. Darn my non-water proof mascara. I can't imagine the tears shed when the family received this gift. I'm only 28 and want to start a notebook for myself now...