I have incredibly fond memories of my dad‘s dad. Upon first meeting him, many simply saw a grumpy old man. What I learned was that he was a man who loved to argue and was desperately in search of someone who would engage with him.
I figured all of this out when I was in high school. Each time I would go over to visit my grandparents (he was married to this grandma), I made the time to have a long discussion with him.
It was during one of these debates that I learned the US had a base in Cuba. Grandpa was known for making things up, so I looked it up when I got home home (not as easy a feat pre-Google). Ma had already taught me that if you say something with enough conviction that people would believe you, and I honed those skills with Grandpa.
One thing that Grandpa loved to discuss was religion. I wasn’t that knowledgeable on the subject, so I had to prepare for those battles.
One day Ma came downstairs, and I was sitting at the coffee table, writing in a notebook with the Bible open, laughing almost maniacally.
“Um, what are you doing?”
“I found great ammo against Grandpa!”
“Let me guess, Leviticus?”
“Yes! You knew about this?!?!”
She shook her head and walked on by.
The next time I went to visit, I brought the Bible with me. Grandpa’s eyes lit up when he saw it. When we started our discussion, I came out shooting with both barrels.
“Grandpa, do you follow everything that the Bible says you should do?”
“Yes I do!”
“Do you eat pork?
“Do you shave?”
A questioning glance crossed his freshly shaven face. “You can see that I do.”
“Both of those things are forbidden in the Bible.”
I pulled out my Bible and turned to the page and showed him.
“No, in mine.”
So I found the verses in his.
“Brother Bob said that wasn’t important.” Even my adolescent mind knew the debate was over with that.
We continued having these lively debates, each claiming victories here and there, with both of us thoroughly enjoying ourselves.
Much like with Grandma, my version of grandpa differed dramatically from the man Rebecca knew. I wish she could have met mine. His mind failed him long before she was old enough to have appreciated his love of debate.
Do you have any family members with which you enjoy debating? or Have you ever been caught sitting by yourself, laughing maniacally, and frantically taking notes?