Grandpa's name is Charles. His friends call him Charlie. We call him Grandpa. Grandma calls him Sea Bee.
Grandpa was born in Deadwood, South Dakota in 1936. 1936 was a long time ago. 1936 was a really long time ago. I think it's almost 100 years ago. It was so long ago that Grandpa can remember the day the great General George Custer came through Deadwood on his way to parlay with the Indians and ask them to kindly give the Black Hills to real Americans like his family - the English German Williamsons and the Italian Vercellinos.
This is Grandpa Charlie and his Grandma Vercellino. He doesn't remember her very well. She died when he was a little boy. One day she was sweeping her sidewalk and something popped in her head.
Grandpa would have been sad, if he were bigger.
This is my Grandpa with his dad Charlie. Grandpa was an only child. His mom and dad didn't get along very well, and when Charlie was a young boy they divorced.
Grandpa Charlie lived with his mother Elda in a small town called Belle Fourche in South Dakota. They didn't have a lot of money. They lived in a small apartment over the bank. Their apartment had a small living room, a small kitchen a bathroom and a closet. His mom slept on the couch in the living room and Grandpa slept on a cot in the kitchen. Life was hard in those days, not like we have it today. We are lucky we don't have to sleep on a cot in the kitchen.
For fun, Grandpa Charlie liked to ride his bike up and down the streets of Belle Fourche. They didn't have video games back then or a TV. He listened to the radio and played records on his record player. Grandpa liked music. Grandpa liked to go to movies and play basketball and baseball with his friends.
School was OK, but not that fun because they didn't have computers. Teachers were meaner in those days and could spank you if you were bad.
One day when Grandpa Charlie was riding his bike he saw a pretty girl named Luella standing outside Roxies Boarding House in Belle Fourche. Luella and her mother were visiting friends. They lived on a ranch way out in Indian country in Montana. Grandpa showed off and did tricks on his bike. Luella liked his tricks.
"Will you marry me?" he asked her.
"Yes," She said.
Charlie asked, "How many?"
"I want eight!" Luella said.
"OK," Charles said.
Grandpa Charlie worked hard building highways to feed all his kids.
"Put the road there," he would say to the workers. Then he would say, "I want some money because I have eight kids at home and they have to eat and have shoes and clothes and go to school."
This is my Grandpa Charlie today. I think he looks like Abraham Lincoln.
Charlie just had a birthday.
I think he's almost 100 years old or something.
Grandpa Charlie works at WalMart in Orem Utah. He parks his red pickup truck where everyone else parks their cars. Charlie's truck is the best because he loves his cars and takes care of them and washes them every week, even if they don't need it! Everyone at Walmart stops to look at Grandpa Charlie's red truck.
"What a pretty red truck," the girls say.
"I'll bet it has a big engine," the boys say.
Some Walmart workers don't take care of their cars. Look at the dents in the silver car. It makes Charlie sad to see cars not taken care of.
This is another picture of Grandpa Charlie's truck. See how it shines. You can see yourself in the shine if you look real close. Grandpa has a sticker in the back window that says he is a friend to police and gives them money.
The sticker gives him permission to drive fast and not get a ticket because the policeman sees the sticker and walks up to the window and thanks him for giving money to the police.
Grandpa Charlie is smart.
Grandpa Charlie likes to help people at Walmart. Here he is helping a man fill a water jug. He missed a few times and got the man really wet.
Grandpa Charlie can't work the cash register. It has a lot of buttons and stuff. Buttons can be complicated. Grandpa says he'd work the cash register if they let him, but they won't. They don't think its funny when he tells them that if he had to work the cash register he would put one dollar in the till for them and one dollar in his wallet for him.
Grandpa Charlie is funny. He makes the people at Walmart laugh. He says that if he wasn't there the WalMart workers would cry all day long because they don't make enough money.
This is what Grandpa Charlie does when he isn't filling water jugs or taking care of Walmart's plants. He needs to get lots of sleep. Remember, he is almost 100 years old!
This is Grandma Luella. She waits for Charlie every day to come home from work with her broom.
"You get out of your truck and get to work," she says. "I've been home all day and nothings got done."
She has a broom she keeps with her. She points the broom at him when she wants him to do things.
"Grandma doesn't drive so good so she's lucky she has her broom" Grandpa Charlie says.
"Look at this lawn. The grass is too tall!" Grandma says to Charlie. "You get the lawnmower and cut this lawn!"
Grandpa Charlie does what he's told so He has to raise his hand and ask permission if he wants to stop mowing the lawn. Grandma will let him stop if he needs a drink or has to go to the bathroom.
Poor Grandpa Charlie - he always has to work. And he is almost 100 years old!
"This is my room, but you can use it if I give permission," Grandma says to Grandpa. Grandpa Charlie can use the kitchen too. Grandma follows with the broom to keep him moving.
One day Grandpa stopped to watch Grandma's TV. Grandma brushed his ankles with the broom to get him to move.
"This is my TV," Grandma said to Grandpa Charlie. "You can't use it because I don't like your tv shows. You use your TV in your room, and don't turn it up too loud!"
Grandma walked Grandpa to his room in the back of the house.
"This is your TV. You stay in your room and watch your TV. Don't bother me if I'm watching my TV because I might miss my shows if you come out and talk. So you stay in your room and I'll call you if I need you," Grandma said while pointing the broom at his TV.
Grandpa Charlie's TV is really small, and his eyes are almost 100 years old! I don't know how he can see something so small.
"It's OK," Grandpa Charlie says. "Grandma had these rock things taken out of her eyes so she needs a big TV."
Grandpa Charlie always thinks about other people.
This is Grandpa Charlie's one room. This is where Grandma says he can put his things. Sometimes he sleeps on his couch when Grandma's breathing machine is too loud. Grandma has sleep apna or something. She can't get enough air when she sleeps and the machine pushes air into her. I don't know if it works. She always seems tired except when she follows behind Grandpa with her broom.
Grandpa Charlie likes to read books about money and Indians and South Dakota and medicine. He wants to live forever and says one day he will be peeing on all our graves. His books are in piles all around his couch. Grandpa Charlie likes candy like Werther's Originals and Spice Drops. He keeps his candy by his couch. He can't taste things very good because one day he tripped on a curb and fell down and hit his head on a fire hydrant. He had to have stitches. Since then he hasn't been able to taste or smell anything. He says it is the first time in his life he can enjoy Grandma's cooking.
This is another one of Grandma's rooms. Grandma has the living room, her bedroom, her bathroom and her second living room. Grandpa can come in here to use his bathroom.
This is Grandma's deck. Grandpa Charlie gets to mow the lawn around the deck and take care of the plants so Grandma can sit outside and rest.
This is Grandma's Gazebo. She likes to sit in the Gazebo's shade and think of things for Grandpa Charlie to do. Grandpa comes out sometimes and sits in the Gazebo. He says he is resting. Sometimes he falls asleep.
"Sea Bee, You get up now and get to work," Grandma will call from the house.
Grandpa will get up and work. He likes to work. He says work will keep him alive.
Grandpa Charlie is a simple person. Grandpa Charlie is quiet person. He is happiest after a long day of work when he can drive home in his truck, sit in his room, eat his bowl of chili and spice drops, read his book and watch his little TV.
Grandpa Charlie is a simple person.
Happy Father's Day Grandpa Charlie.