Embroided Stools and Orphan Decline

November 26, 2006 at 5:03 pm 1 comment

On Friday, Larry Bowman and I stopped by to visit his father outside of Richmond Virginia.  The visit was hauntingly like my visits with my grandfather.  Age has left Larry’s father rather feeble.  Like my grandfather, he spent most of his time in a recliner.  I saw pictures where he had a dog sitting right next to him, the way Hans the dachshund did with Grandpa.  And then the eerie part– next to the recliner was an embroidered stool where the newspaper was placed.  An identical setup to my grandparents’. 

Grandpa in his chair.  Hans and Carolyn nearby.  Carolyn may be on the stool??

I used to sit on that stool to listen to my grandfather’s stories or on occasion help light his pipe.  On Friday, Larry’s father wanted to see a photo album.  I found myself flipping through it with him and suddenly I realized I was sitting on the stool.  A strong sense of deja vu.

There was a big difference between my grandfather and Jasper Bowman.  My grandfather was very much the story teller and was always talking and sharing tales.  Larry’s father was more of a listener and observer.  He didn’t talk very much during our visit and when he did, he was very soft spoken.  I was sitting the closest to him, so I tried my best to start up conversation during the visit.

At one point, Larry’s father pulled up a black and white picture of a strapping young man in uniform.

“This is my father,” he said softly, “He fought in World War I.”

“Wow,” I said, “He fought in World War I?  Cool!  Did he ever tell you any stories about the war?”

“No,” he said, “My father was shot and killed.”

Before I could say anything, he sighed and added, “And then I was put in the orphanage.”

It wasn’t quite a Sister Gonorrhea moment, that’s for sure.  But it was certainly no ice breaker either!

As a recap, last weekend I was reading about orphans in Hungarian Rhaposody and then this weekend, I managed to mangle a conversation with an orphan.  If the degradation continues, I reckon next weekend I’ll be mooning orphans and calling them names.

Wish me luck.

Entry filed under: Grandpa, Larry Bowman.

Hungarian Rhapsody: An Adoption Story Eat Your Cake and Wait for It Too

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jasper “J.B.” Bowman « TGAW  |  November 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    […] Fosters a Friendship Although I only met him in person once, it’s possible I owe my entire friendship to Larry to this man.  (This musing is sort […]


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