TITLE: The Cook
By SAMUEL TUCKER
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The cook’s loved ones talk and watch as the raw materials are worked; pots, pans and oven heated and everything timed to arrive at the table together.
I consider myself lucky to have these memories of my grandfather. A thoughtful man: who was always there for others. A gently voice that was stern at times. I always felt secure when Sweetdaddy was near.
His hands taught as they worked and work they did.
With a paddle he pulled the boat silently near the bluegill beds as my brother and I pulled fish after fish out of the lake. When the rusty red ice chest was full, Sweetdaddy instructed us to make ourselves secure. He started the outboard and we headed home. My brother Paul and I enjoyed the fishing and Sweetdaddy saw to it the fish we caught was not wasted.
As he cleaned fish after fish I was amazed by the sure and steady rhythm of his hands. I was too young to handle a knife and there was a twinkle in Sweetdaddy’s eye when I asked if I could help. (At that moment I received the most important assignment of my life.) The newspaper wet with the gut of bluegills. The eyes of fish heads still clear. It all must be disposed of and I was there to do it. I felt like hero as I carried the heavy load.
My mother’s daddy didn’t rush and he wasted no time. There was an easy way about him that felt like a cool soft pillow.
I understand a man can stay on this earth only a short time and my sweetdaddy made the most of his. I’m grateful to have memories and the advice given to me by sweetdaddy’s father that will never be lost...
Samuel P. Tucker
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