Saturday, April 23, 2011


My Grandpa Louis taught me the fine art of loving the outdoors. Summers spent with Grandma and Grandpa in Leroy, Michigan created memories I won't ever forget. Fourth of July weekends found everyone they knew camped out on the 80 acres of green, peaceful bliss. I, an adventurous kid, would run from trailer to trailer asking for tours of these grand weekend homes on wheels. One year Grandpa Louis was so brave he offered to watch me and my two brothers (I was four, Dwight was six and John ten) when my Grandmother, Mom and Dad flew to Europe. Louis hooked up the 1975 Argosy to his Buick LeSabre and off we went from Grand Rapids to Leroy, with me in the back seat staring at the trailer the entire time, making sure it didn't fall off. Two days of pouring rain, three kids fighting over who got to sleep on the sofa and poor Louis had had enough. We hooked her back up, closed down camp and headed back to Grand Rapids. I've never forgotten that trip with Grandpa. One year Louis surprised Grandma Helen by purchasing a 1971 Titan, and oh was she ever surprised! After the initial shock wore off, Grandma saw Louis vision; to drive across country visiting relatives along the way, escaping the cold, harsh winters of Michigan. When they arrived in Silver City, New Mexico for Christmas (where we were living at the time) I begged Grandma and Grandpa to sleep in the RV with them. I loved every minute of it! Louis was a quiet, fairly introspective man who loved his family and adored spending time with his grandchildren. He passed away just before Christmas this year, and now that I live so close to Michigan, it saddens me that I can't pull up in my Scotty and surprise him with a weekend of camping only he could appreciate. But, I'm sure he's somewhere looking down with a grin of pride and admiration, just as I do when I sit in my Scotty thinking about what he has done to open my eyes to this adventurous world. So, I will name my Scotty, "Louis" after the man who taught me to step outside of my box and enjoy the outdoors!
(Photo taken approx July, 1978 at Grandma and Grandpa's cabin near Leroy, Michigan.)

1 comment:

  1. Louis is the perfect name!!
    Thanks for bringing tears to my eyes with your story. You will always have the memories and yes, your Grandpa is looking down and smiling!