You’re Eminence!

That’s how my Grandfather would address me. The phone would ring, my mother would answer and when she handed it to me it was always an event. A hush would be demanded!

“You’re Eminence!”

He would call out in the kind of tone that suggested he meant it. He believed it. He wasn’t smiling when he said it. He was serious! He was talking to the King….and I bought into it hook, line and sinker! There wasn’t an eight year old on the planet who had his chest poked out as far as mine. Chin up! Shoulders Back….

“Yes Sir” was my reply!

Karl Croel

…was a magnificent man! According to my Grandfather the world revolved around him and him alone and all of us knew it! But every now and then he would shine that light directly on you and make you feel like he could make that world stand still just to hear what you had to say. He would do that to me often..and it work! No one ever made me feel so special! No one!

He wasn’t the kind of Grandfather to show up for holidays or play ball at the park. He wasn’t the kind of Grandfather that popped the hood on the chevy or taught you how to change the oil. Not Karl Croel. He was the kind of grandfather that was impatient because you were too young to read bigger books and as soon as you were old enough (age 12) he expected you to read serious books and be prepared to comment on them. If you failed to find serious books on your own he would buy one and mail it to you and give you a date and time that he would follow up and discuss it…. and he always did. Politics, Science, Religion…nothing was off limits! I was so afraid of letting him down that I would devour those books. 200 pages 300 pages, even more! It didn’t matter! I would read and highlight and make notes in the margins so I was prepared to have an intelligent conversation even though It never really went down that way. Mostly he would call and tell me what HE thought about the book and I’d get a point or two in at the end. But he knew I read it and that was all that mattered to me!

RIP Grandpa!

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