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Remembering our grandparents September 8

Aug. 30, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

If we all paid more attention to our grandparents, we might have more success in life. Do not forget that they have already traveled the road you are traveling. It may be difficult to imagine that our grandparents once were little babies just like you and your children.

They have dealt with everything we expect to be involved with during our lifetime. That includes choice of career, preparation for job, marriage, family and their own children. Grandpa and grandma have done it all.

To children and teenagers, that seems like a long time in the future. For grandparents, it all seems to have gone by so quickly.

One of the things I enjoyed with my grandpa was to hear him tell stories about his young days. I remember many experiences with Grandma and Grandpa Perry -- spending many nights with them. Grandma made biscuits each morning for breakfast and cornbread for the noon and evening meals, which we called dinner and supper. Grandma often had molasses cookies and baked meat skins. We call them "pork rinds" today.

My grandfather Ellis died at age 56 when my dad was 9 years old. I do not know much about him. He was involved with cattle that he would sell to the coal company stores. He also, at certain times, had a horse drawn meat wagon. He would ring his large handheld bell to let people know he was in their neighborhood. My dad, as a little boy, often went with his dad and had a small bell he would ring.

Mom's parents were Margaret Short who was married to Alex Perry. Dad's parents were Octavia Hodge who was married to William Hamilton Ellis. Octavia was a widow for 34 years, from 1913 until she died in 1947. Grandma Ellis lived about 500 feet from us in one of the finest houses ever built by the Carbon Fuel Coal Company at Wevaco, W.Va. That is another story.

National Grandparents Day will be observed this year on Sunday, Sept. 8. Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, W.Va., has been recognized in the United States Senate as the founder of National Grandparents Day. Senator Jennings Randolph, Senator Robert C. Byrd and West Virginia Governor, Arch Moore, were instrumental in bringing the bill for the formal recognition of this day to the desk of President Jimmy Carter, who signed the proclamation on Aug. 3, 1978. I met all four of these outstanding leaders.

Congress passed the legislation designating the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day for the purpose "to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer."

St. Paul wrote to Timothy, "When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also" (2 Timothy 1:5 NKJ).

Grandparents may celebrate this day by contacting their children and grandchildren.

Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.