In my mind I can still hear the tap tap tap of Granddaddy's walking cane, as he would come up the partial-concrete walkway to our home at Caesar, MS. Granddaddy lived with us in his latter years of life. He died at the age of 94 on November 15, 1950.
His favorite pastime was gardening and fishing. Granddaddy never went anywhere without that ole walking cane. He had his initials carved into it and I suppose he did it with his genuine Barlow pocketknife that he would faithfully set on the front porch sharpening, occasionally reaching over to test the edge by shaving the hair from his arm. He would get a far away look in his eyes, reach up and stroke his snow-white beard, and I knew he was thinking about his childhood or planning a fishing trip. Most likely he was thinking about a fishing trip.
His gardens were usually in the corner of the field where Papa had failed to "turn over" as Papa always said when he plowed. I think Papa would leave the corner for Granddaddy on purpose. Granddaddy would "turn it over" with his grubbing hoe, shovel, and rake. He always had a good garden that was the envy of those in the community. That ole walking cane was leaned against the fence ready for use when he got through with his work.
In my minds eye I can still see him walking down the road with his long cane fishing pole on his shoulder and that ole walking cane in the other hand. He would occasionally tap the ground with the walking cane and he always had that far away look in his eyes, headed for Catahoula Creek for a week or so of fishing.
Now that I am older and wiser, I wonder sometimes what caused that far away look in his eyes. Was it a planed fishing trip or remembrances of childhood? Granddaddy often talked about things in the Bible, which he had studied for many years. Perhaps he was like Abraham who the Bible says "looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God". I like to think that he was looking forward to the time he would see that City, meet his loved ones who had gone on before and thank Christ for what he had done for him.
After Granddaddy died, I fell heir to the ole walking cane. It has an old Model-T gear handle knob on the top, painstakingly placed there many nears ago. I use this walking cane now in my latter years while walking the roads here in the country near Bassfield, MS. And yes, I need it about as much as Granddaddy did, occasionally taping the ground with it. The tap, tap, tap, brings back fond memories of Granddaddy Freeman Lee, my mothers daddy. I still miss him!
Original Fred N. Lee
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I like the way this piece "comes full circle," with the author making the same tap tap sound with his grandfather's cane.
I'd like to know in what (other) ways the author takes after his grandfather, how the grandfather influenced the author's life.