[dropcap]I [/dropcap]never heard my grandfather use a swear word around women. Nothing more than, “hell,” or an occasional “dammit,” – which weren’t considered swear words. To him, gasoline was measured in cents, not dollars. Playboy wasn’t a magazine, but a nickname grandma called him when he gambled at the horse track.

And one of my favorite things was how he referred to females of any age; darling or sweetie.

He owned the same car for twenty-one years, an Opel. His DeSoto, even longer. He never saw the internet. To him, a computer was a human mathematician in the United States Army. He wore his nicest clothes to baseball games, stood for the National Anthem, and by God, we put hands over hearts. This was the only moment in a man’s life permissible for shedding tears.

A text message was something read aloud on Sunday mornings by a minister. Cellphones were devices used in prison. Back then, there existed no touchscreens. In fact, you never touched the television screen, especially not before Hee Haw.

Highway speeds over fifty-five were speeding. If your wife was pregnant, you got a cigar – and you smoked it right then and there. Sunglasses were for wise guys. Drugs came from a corner pharmacy, and pot was what you cooked oyster stew in. There were no twenty-four-hour news channels, because there was no such thing as good news anyway. Well – except for V-Day and the book of Matthew. The world has changed. For the better? I don’t know, and I don’t care.

Because he would’ve found a way to be happy here too.

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