He was a great grandfather, who loved to fish, hunt, golf, play bridge, read mysteries, work puzzles, and criticize the communists---all the things you might expect from a man of his generation. (After viewing the family slides tonight, I see that he also loved funny hats and at certain times looked like Brando.)
My cousins and I spent many afternoons with him in the backyard blowing up anthills and crawdad holes with firecrackers. We put firecrackers in apples from the apple tree and threw them like grenades. We shot cans and apples and targets with BB guns and .22s. We are all lucky to still have 10 fingers and 2 eyes.
My grandpa, an engineer, liked to build things, mainly useless contraptions. He always rigged his fishing pole so that it stood on its own, so he could rest in his chair and not have to hold the pole. He built himself a "boat" out of a lawn chair, a piece of plywood, an old truck tire inner tube, and an old outboard motor. We will never know whether it was seaworthy though---Grandma condemned it to permanent dry dock.
It was odd being at the visitation and knowing that he really would not have appreciated the whole fuss. He wouldn't have dressed like that, and certainly wouln't have hung around for two hours. He would've been gone in 20 minutes. My cousin thoughtfully sneaked a pack of cards into the coffin. But I guess these events are for the living, not the dead.
Tomorrow is the funeral and mass and prayer service. He wouldn't have liked any of that either, but we're going to honor him whether he likes it or not, for just this one day.