Lessons from Grandpa #1

My grandfather was a very prominent figure in my life as I was growing up. He was a teacher, school principal, and father to five children. Everyday I learned something from him whether it be something I should eat, something I should do, how I should act, or how I should think. He always had something interesting to say.

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Me and GP just before my baptism

My grandfather was a serious conservative. He lived by the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it is, just put some duct tape on it!” I’m not even joking. Have you seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and witnessed how Toula’s father would put Windex on everything? Well, that’s my grandfather, except with him it was simply, “Put some duct tape on it.

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I remember one day he came home from the golf course and when he pulled up in the driveway, his car was missing the driver’s side mirror. I asked him what happened and he told me, “I think I sideswiped a truck.” I couldn’t believe it and I know that if he had that mirror in his hand, he’d be duct taping it back on.

Another repair was on his left boot. He had visited a doctor for hip pain and learned that one of his legs was longer than the other. He brainstormed about how he could fix the issue without having to wear a brace of some sort. He wound up making a platform for the bottom of his boot and duct taped it on. Voila! When the zipper broke on one of his other shoes, he taped that too. He would put duct tape on vacuum hoses, tools, shoes, furniture, and even books. He didn’t care what anyone thought either. When I was a kid I thought it was silly. Now that I’m older, I love that he was like that and wish that I could be more carefree about what people think.

The one duct taped object that I have from my grandfather is his Bible. He read his Bible every day. Once the binding started to break down, he fixed it so that he could use it for many years to come.  It’s a large print and fairly big Bible. Here’s a picture of it here with his tape repairs.

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Recently we had an accident with one of our favorite Christmas books. It’s a book by Rod Green titled Santa Claus: The Magical World of Father Christmas. We have another one titled Santa’s Reindeer which is very similar. At the time we purchased them they weren’t cheap and we couldn’t find them for under $30. These are special books that contain pull-out letters, flaps, double spread pages, and maps.

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The books are stunning. They’re jam-packed with information about Santa’s house at the North Pole, the working elves, the mail room, Santa’s workshop, Mrs. Claus, all the reindeer, Santa’s magic suit, Santa’s travel and sightings, and what it’s like at the North Pole on Christmas day. It’s such a magical book and children love it.

One day I had walked out of our book room and when I returned I found this…

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From this angle it doesn’t look so bad, but as you can see in the next photo, it was really bad. I didn’t think there was a way to repair it. The pages are super thick and the cover was barely hanging on.

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The binding was completely destroyed.

The one corner was really bad and the covers were close to being separated from the book pages. I was devastated.

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Our dog decided that he wanted a snack, but I forgave him and I’ve learned that he hasn’t lost his taste for books and must be monitored in the book room.

We don’t have any book repair shops like in the old days and there was  no way I was going to toss this book into the garbage. So, I thought about just buying another one, but then I remembered a lesson from grandpa-Just duct tape it! They have so many wonderful tapes out now that can be used for all sorts of repairs, crafts and projects. There are so many different patterns and colors to chose from. I had some red duct tape on hand from a separate project and thought I’d give it a try. Here are the results…

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It’s actually not that horrible. The corners were the main challenge as the cover was pretty much separated from the pages, but it’s functional again. You can click through the different pictures in this slideshow.

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So it’s at least functional again and looks better than it did. The cover isn’t loose and all pages work just fine. Here it is on the bottom Christmas shelf. Not bad, right?


My grandfather isn’t with us anymore, but my plan is to remember as much as I can about him and the lessons he taught me. In case I never said it, thanks Grandpa.

Here’s a video of Perry Como singing “Catch a Falling Star.” Perry Como was one of my grandfather’s favorite singers. He has such a mellow and baritone voice. I still love listening to his music and can remember my grandfather with his love for singing and dancing.

Lyrics:

Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day
For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night
Just in case you feel you want to hold her
You’ll have a pocketful of starlight
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day
For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night
And just in case you feel you want to hold her
You’ll have a pocketful of starlight
(Pocketful of starlight, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm, hm)
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day
(Save it for a rainy, rainy, rainy, rainy day)
For when your troubles start multiplyin’ and they just might
It’s easy to forget them without tryin’
With just a pocketful of starlight
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Save it for a rainy day
Save it for a rainy day

Mythbusters Results for Duct Tape

Duct tape can lift a 5,000-pound car. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Hour)

Duct tape can be used to construct a fully functioning cannon. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Hour)

Duct tape can be used to construct an entire boat. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Hour)

Duct tape can be used to seal leaks in a boat. PLAUSIBLE (as seen in Duct Tape Hour)

Duct tape can be used to create a barricade that can stop a car going 60 mph. BUSTED (as seen in Duct Tape Hour 2)

Duct tape can be used to build a usable bridge across a chasm. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Hour 2)

Duct tape can be used to hold a completely dismantled car together so that it can be safely driven at high speed. CONFIRMED(as seen in Duct Tape Hour 2)

Duct tape can be used to hold an accelerating car in place. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Hour 2)

If a bear rips a hole in a grounded airplane’s fuselage, the pilot can patch the hole with duct tape so that the plane can fly away safely. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Plane)

It is possible to construct a workable airplane fuselage using only duct tape. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Plane)

You can use duct tape on a deserted island to build a distress signal. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Island)

You can use duct tape on a deserted island to make clothing. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Island)

You can use duct tape on a deserted island to find fresh water. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Island)

You can use duct tape on a deserted island to find food. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Island)

You can use duct tape on a deserted island to build a shelter. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Island)

You can use duct tape on a deserted island to build a fire. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Island)

You can use duct tape on a deserted island to build a seaworthy boat. CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Island)

You can survive in the wilderness and hike to safety for several days with just duct tape, bubble wrap and a few staples (knife, water, food). CONFIRMED (as seen in Duct Tape Canyon)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment below if you’d like to!

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11 thoughts on “Lessons from Grandpa #1

  1. starjustin

    I love this post! I’ll never forget your grandpa singing and dancing in front of the TV every time Lawrence Welk was on. The memories of those days are precious and close to my heart. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Our memories of our parents and grandparents are part of what makes us who we are, yes? Your grandfather sounds like he was a wonderful man and the dancing to Lawrence Welk makes me laugh, because my own grandmother and grandfather would get up and dance to Lawrence Welk on Saturday evening as well. I remember being a very little girl and watching them and just laughing with joy. What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing that beautiful memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good morning Mischenko.
    My name is Rod and I’m the founder of The Grandpa Project. It’s so new that it’s in the earliest stages of development. I am a grandpa to 7 wonderful grandchildren and number 8 is due to be born later this month. I never had the chance to know my grandpa and neither did my dad or my son. Three generations of my family without a “grandpa experience.” I discovered your blog and post today when searching for grandpa stories to share. While public facing blogs are built to be shared, I always respect the author and ask for permission to share a personal story. I wonder if you would allow me to share yours. For now, it would reside only on The Grandpa Project Facebook page. My website is in development. What do you think? Great story and memories by the way. Thanks for sharing.

    Rod
    The Grandpa Project (Here’s the link on Facebook => https://www.facebook.com/TheGrandpaProject/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Rod,

      I have no problem with you using my story. I actually have many more to share over time and would be fine with you using those as well. I think your project sounds great! Thanks for your kind comments and for sharing this info with me and other readers. 🙂

      Like

  4. Thank you. I hope you’ll join the movement and invite your readers. I’ll post a link to your blog in The Grandpa Project on Facebook tonight. Let me know if you’d like to connect. – Rod

    Like

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