Ever Your Loving Grandfather
Ike and Bessie. Beloved maternal Grandparents. 1956 wedding anniversary.
Grandpa Couts was that "special Grandpa" that I loved. He was born in 1878 and so when I was born my dear Grandpa was already 72 years old. And so when I knew him, he seemed very old indeed to me.
Grandpa Couts influenced my life in positive ways. When we would visit Iowa he treated me special. He gave Bobby and I pennies to walk to the store and buy penny taffy and black jack and clove gum. He had arthritis and used a walker. The hammock on the front porch offered him some relief and he would let me crawl into the hammock and gently rock with him. From that safe place we gazed out across mile upon mile of cornfields, the very cornfields he had farmed when he was young and strong and my own mother was a little girl as I was then. And we talked and talked and talked. He seemed to have no time limit when it came to me.
Once, he got angry with me and my twin for dashing across the street in front of a car. Mind you, the "street" was a dirt road and had exactly four houses on it, old railroad tracks, a feed store and livery, a post office, and an old Methodist Church--at one time there had been a grainery and even railroad tracks. I need not mention there was not a single stop light, let alone a stop sign. That experience broke my heart because I had been enjoying such complete acceptance and love from him and I could hardly bear disappointing him.
Granda would send me cards with a stick of gum inside or pennies taped to the inside and every correspondence began with, "My dear little Becky." Once he sent me his collar box with a letter that is one of my most precious treasures. The letter says in part, "these was the collars your grandpa wore when he was a' courtin' your dear grandma." The box has other precious treasures, seashells collected while visiting California, cufflinks, old broken pieces of jewelry and several yellowed and stiff collars. He sent me tracts and books of poems and stories. I put many of them to memory as a child, they meant so much to me.
Oh yes, I was dearly loved by my grandpa Couts and I loved him back. I didn't really cry when he died in 1966 because I knew I would be in Heaven with him one day. As he signed every card and letter, "Ever your loving grandfather," I know that my grandpa is standing and waiting and is ever my loving grandfather.