Wednesday, August 3, 2011
About The Donkey
My grandfather passed away a few years ago right after my birthday. He was a smart interesting man who spent his life teaching at a college and later, behind a pulpit as a Methodist preacher. In other words, my Papaw was all about knowledge and learning and not even a tiny bit about money. In other other words, he didn't have any. What he did have was a wife, three daughters, a poodle named Ginger, five grandchildren and, at the time of his death, four great grand kids with one on the way. He had congregations of people who loved him. He had file cabinets full of things he'd written: sermons, articles, memoirs and jokes. He had books. Stacks of books. Piles of books. Shelves upon shelves of books that we family members got to go through before they were donated to libraries and churches in Texas. My husband is a history buff like my grandfather and when he took some of the volumes for his personal collection, I had to wipe the tears from my eyes because I knew my Papaw would be delighted. It was his habit to give each relative a book every time he saw us, such was the massive extent of his collection. I think he'd be pleased to know how many of his books grace our shelves.
He also had knickknacks.
In addition to being an intelligent man, my grandfather also had a kooky sense of humor. He cracked everyone up, especially himself. I'm not sure how the donkey and monkey thing got started but whenever any of us bought my grandfather a gift or a card, we made sure it was either donkey or monkey themed. Although he was a handsome dude, when he laughed, which was often, there was something frankly goofy about his face, like animal goofy. I have a feeling he himself noted the similarity he bore to donkeys, although it might have been my grandmother, who is hilarious with a dash of mean and a side of roguish.
This particular donkey sat on his desk alongside his typewriter. I have no clue where it came from, although my mother or one of my aunts may be able to speak to that. I only know it has been around as long as I can remember and it looks, well, old. It seems old. It looks like some kind of fabulous find from an antique shop. It's also functional. You can fill the donkey's pouches with pens or paperclips or, in my case, wind-up toys! It's a fabulous addition to any desk, but most of all, it reminds me of him. After he passed away, when my mom asked if there was anything I wanted, I said, "Just the donkey, please." And, I love him. If my house were on fire I'd grab my dog, my donkey, then my computer, in that order.
I can't imagine any amount of monetary inheritance would please me more than what I got from my Papaw: an awesome plastic donkey for my desk, a love of books, a kooky sense of humor, the ability to crack myself up daily and a never wavering desire to write about everything.