The Acorn Doesn’t Fall far from the Tree

My mother likes to tell a story about my paternal grandfather that involved a quirk of his generation and one of his personality.  I was an infant, and my parents, myself, and our dog, a boxer named Blitz, were visiting he and my grandmother in Cambridge, MD.

As my mother tells it, my grandfather had limited interest in his grandson, but loved that dog. Exhibit A regarding the latter was his concern that Blitz, who like myself, was less than a year old, would need to relieve himself during the night.[1]  Back then clothing was an important marker of class in the US, and my grandfather would not be seen out in public unless he was properly dressed (sporting a coat and tie, and in his case, a hat).  I wish I had a photo I could show you (he had a fabulous smile).

In any case, every night during our visit, my grandfather would apparently rise sometime after 1 am, get himself properly attired, and walk the dog.  My mother loves this story, in part I think, because it is difficult to establish what is the most remarkable part: my grandfather’s commitment to the dog or to his station in life.[2]

Well, my 75 year old father turns out to have a similar commitment to the dog in his life, at this juncture an aging beagle named Wishbone.  My dad and stepmom, Jacki, live in a house that has an impressive flight of stairs, and the intersection of Wishbone’s advancing years, those stairs, and my father being “his father’s son” to the following landing in my email today.

Well, it finally happened!  I have torn the ligaments (inside & outside) of my right ankle.  It was diagnosed as between a Grade 2 and 3, grade 3 being the most severe. I say it finally happened since Jacki has been predicting a fall ever since I started carrying Wishbone up and down the stairs three months ago.  He is in tough shape with his blown ACL’s, arthritis in both shoulders, stone deaf, failing eyesight and impaired cognitive ability (not sure when he needs to pee).  Anyway I’m in a walking boot, pain meds, and a doc appointment in 2 weeks.  Most of what I read on the Internet says 4 – 6 weeks for recovery.  I’m not sure what “recovery” means, but it’s pretty far away.

Just wanted to let you know what’s cooking at the old folks home! 


[1] “Dog doors” were not common in the US in 1962 indeed, (may have been unknown).

[2] Cambridge, MD is a very small town on the Eastern Shore, and the likelihood that my grandfather would encounter someone while walking the dog at that hour was vanishingly small.

About Will H. Moore

I am a political science professor who also contributes to Political Violence @ a Glance and sometimes to Mobilizing Ideas . Twitter: @WilHMoo
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1 Response to The Acorn Doesn’t Fall far from the Tree

  1. kineticofl says:

    This is cool. Telling stories to their children as sign of their bonding. A child exhibits the same or very similar traits as his or her parents as they grows old.

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