my fredder

my grandpa is fred. fred turned 95 this month. fred is amazing. he's the only grandpa i have ever known (he married my dad's mom after my real grandpa died when my dad was a teenager). he's the best. he decided last month that he wanted to move out of the house he has lived in for 30 years and into an apartment in a retirement community. so he did. who moves when they're 95? my fam went over to his new bachelor pad two weekends ago to celebrate.
for his bday gift i wrote fred a list of 95 things i love about him. here are some highlights:
1. your soft wavy hair and how it STILL hasn’t turned completely gray or fallen out!

5. you actually let me drive your Cadillac when I was 15

6. the way you would take your false teeth in and out without using your hands to make us laugh

7. your shorty-short swim trunks that you would wear to the beach in your 70's
12. your story about sitting on your biscuits in grade school
fred and 3 of his 5 grandkids. great move with me in the foreground and tiny lindsey behind me. is it cold there in my massive shadow, linds? the foreground is a not a friend to the recently partum-ed

16. that you’re 95 and have played on the Nintendo Wii

18. how you used to squish my finger between your knuckles harder and harder until I gave up

20. how, after arterial surgery, you told the doctors to screw it and kept eating sausage and eggs

29. how you always told me to keep my fingernails pretty “like a lady”

30. how you always warned me that boys “only want one thing”

our little fam with the fredster. judah is his 3rd great grandson

31. that you went to elementary school in O’Keefe, the exact same building where I played volleyball in college

32. how much you hate Nick Faldo (that limey!)

33. how you fell down a full fight of stairs (even making a left turn) onto the marble floor at 84 years old and only got a rug burn and wouldn’t let me call 911

40. your favorite snack of cornbread mushed up in buttermilk

41. how you didn’t get offended when I asked if you used to carry a sword

brave fred with judah his other 2 great grandsons. 3 year old twins cole and chase. from tiny lindsey.

42. that you use a broken TV as a stand for your functional TV

43. that you love watching Beverly Hills: 90210

46. how, when I would sit in front of the TV and you couldn’t see you’d say, “Keight, you been drinking dirty water?” or “keight, your daddy wasn’t a glassmaker”
52. you like to drink coffee with your steak

59. that you refuse to eat off of or drink out of pewter

look at that lush, ample hairline...NOT a piece and not even gray. judah cant believe it and looks to me for confirmation that such hair exisits.
67. how you put a band-aid on my knee so carefully at New Smyrna Beach when I was 4 years old and showed me how to use the little plastic flaps to avoid touching the gauze

68. how, whenever I would ask for my waffle cooked very lightly, you’d say, “why don’t you just use a straw?”

76. how you draw out the “I Love You” on every birthday or Christmas card you send in pictures instead of writing the words. (eyeball, heart, "u")

78. how after you ride in a car, the seat belt smells like you

LOVE THEM! the oldest and youngest people in my fam. fred was born in 1914 and judah in 2009. crazyville!
82. how you never just pick out the cheap cards, you get fancy ones with glitter
88. how you looked at my grandmother
91. how you're the only father my mom has ever really had and how much you mean to her
93. that you sat next to me at Mano’s funeral and weren’t afraid to cry and show how broken your heart was and how that made me feel like it was okay for me to cry too

so sweet. besides judahs piggy face.

95. you’re the only grandfather I’ve ever had and you're the best grandfather I’ve ever seen
i always am so amazed at fred's longevity and health and mental sharpness. then i am always so disappointed to remember that i didnt actually get any of those genes. (i got the ones of my grandpa who died of a heart attack at 49...i'd better go jog). we are so lucky that we got fred in our lives and want him around much, much longer! happy 95th fred, i love you!


  1. this makes me teary. what a cool guy.

  2. this is awesome Keight! tearing up now :) my grandpa was born in 1910 but only lived to be 85-ish. you're so blessed to still have your fredder around! xo

  3. I remember how Grandpa Fred drove us to the beach in Florida and taught me how to tell if I was dehydrated (pinching the skin on my hand and seeing if it stood up)- loving the blog