Grandpa Would’ve Been 92 Today…

I just couldn’t let today pass without mentioning my father-in-law, otherwise known to our family as “Grandpa”.  Grandpa was born on April 1st, and he always joked that “he was an April fool.”  Grandpa was many things, but he was no fool!

A while back, I found an old school paper that our youngest son, Brad, had written (14 years ago) about his Grandpa.  Brad was twelve at the time, and his assignment was to interview someone in his family, then write about them.  Brad chose to interview his Grandpa.  Below is a copy of what young Brad wrote about his grandpa.  (last names were omitted for privacy reasons)  

W. A.  II

Willie Allen “W. A.” II was born on April 1, 1920 at Beards Creek.  His parents were Willie Allen “W. A.” and Bessie.  W. A. had one brother and four sisters.  He spent his youth on a farm near Beards Creek.  He attended Beards Creek School and was taught by Ms. Jenny and Mr. Homer.  Back then, school was only taught until eighth grade, and there were no lights or bathrooms in the school.  Sadly, W.A.’s mother, Bessie , died on April 14, 1925, when he was only five years old.  His father then married Pearl .  W.A. and Pearl had two sons and three daughters.

In his teenage years, W.A. attended movies and dances with his friends, cane grindings, peanut boils, and barn raisings (when a group of young men built a barn for someone to impress young ladies).  Swimming was one of his favorite summer activities.  For swimwear, boys wore cut-off overalls, while girls wore tee-shirts under their father’s cut-off overalls.  On December 10, 1939, W.A.’s father died.

In 1942, W.A. was drafted into the United States Army to fight in World War II.  He spent thirteen weeks in basic training at Camp Wheeler.  From there, he went to North Africa, then on to Casablanca, where he practiced for, and participated in the invasion of Sicily.  Then it was on to England, where he practiced for the invasion of France.  Then he went to Belgium.  He was in Ouina, Germany when World War II ended.  W.A. was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters (he won the Bronze star three times), the E.T.O. Ribbon, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Good Conduct Medal, and seven Battle Stars.  After the war, W.A. was sent to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.  Then he went to Atlanta, Georgia, where he was discharged.

After he got out of the Army, W. A. returned to Glennville.  In 1945, he met Vivian.  They got married in 1946, and they farmed for a couple of years.  They had five children, Willie Allen III (died at age 3 1/2 ), Edward Ronald, Dale Donald (died age 6 months), Kerry Robin, and Kevin Keith.

W. A. worked as a carpenter at Fort Stewart for 28 years.  He retired when he was 59 years old, and has “sat around” ever since.  He has five grandchildren, Jeremy, Brandy, Brett, April, and Brad.  He attends Beards Creek Primitive Baptist Church.  One of his hobbies is watching “The Price Is Right”.  It seems like an obsession because every day at 11 a.m., no matter where he is or what he is doing, he wants to watch “The Price Is Right”.  W. A. has accomplished a lot in his 78 years.  I hope to achieve such greatness in my life as he has…

I’m so thankful that Brad was able to do this interview with his grandpa.  It brought the two of them closer together, and also provided our family a bit of family history to be preserved.  Grandpa passed away just a few short years after his interview with Brad.

**I have to add a footnote here.  Grandpa was sort of “obsessed” with “The Price Is Right”.  He loved that show, and we all knew it!  He watched it, while cooking lunch, for many, many years.   However, my father-in-law did not spend the majority of his retirement days just “sitting around”!  He was one of  the most “active” retired men I’ve ever known.  He constantly stayed busy working on his farm!

I’ll never forget, how at the age of 70, Grandpa participated, with our church youth, in a “walk-a-thon” to raise money for church camp.  He walked five miles with us, and talked and laughed the entire five miles!  I, on the other hand, was walking with my tongue hanging out!

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!  I’ll bet you are busy walking and talking somewhere in Heaven, but  we still miss you down here…

Published in: on April 1, 2012 at 9:32 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Aww…what a great story written by Brad. Mr. Bacon sounds like he was a wonderful man. Of course he must’ve been – look how great Mr. Ed turned out. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this heart-warming story. ♥

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