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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA


THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
 
From the age of nine to about sixteen I spent much of my summers at Ocean City, New Jersey.  My Grandma “Gus” owned a shore house, and my Grandma and Grandpa Hagy owned a house only a few blocks away.

One of my favorite things when we were in Ocean City was fishing with Grandpa.  Grandpa loved to fish and it took little prodding to get him to let me tag along.  We often went fishing with several cousins, whomever was visiting.

As much as Grandpa loved fishing, I think he often took out his small boat just to please his Grandchildren.  As much as we all loved fishing, fishing with Grandpa was extra special.

When I was twelve, the Hemmingway short story “The Old Man and the Sea” was made into a movie.  My Grandpa was an “Old Man” and as the movie was about fishing I thought he would really enjoy this film.  On his birthday I announced I wanted to see this movie and I would take Grandpa…my treat!

Grandpa thought that was a splendid idea and he would love to go, in fact he said he had been anxious to see this movie.

And so we went to the theater on the Ocean City Boardwalk, probably “The Surf” to see “The Old Man and the Sea.”  It was just Grandpa and me.  It was a special moment for me to give my Grandpa this perfect birthday present, treating him to a movie, a movie about fishing.  It probably cost me about seventy-five cents, twenty-five for me and fifty cents for Grandpa.

Strangely enough I remember very little from that day.  We went to the movie, we probably shared some popcorn which was probably bought by Grandpa and we watched the movie.  I really don’t remember the movie.  I know the story because I have read it, but I don’t remember the movie.

What I do remember is years later, after my Grandpa had passed away, talking to my Grandmother.  I mentioned how much I enjoyed “Treating” Grandpa to a movie for his birthday.  Grandma told me, “You know your Grandfather did not really like movies.  I couldn’t tell you the last movie he saw before that day, and he never saw another after he went with you.  He actually hated movies and movie theaters, but he didn’t know how to tell his Grandson that, so he went and I think he enjoyed it.”

Somehow finding out that Grandpa hated the movies made my memory of that day even better, and I always think of Grandpa as the Old Man in “The Old Man and the Sea.”

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the memories. I remember my grandfathers with delight.

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  2. What a lovely Grandpa to do something he didn't like just to please a Grandson.

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  3. It's a great story, and I'm glad you had this wonderful experience with your grandpa. He must have loved you very much to do something so out of his comfort zone.

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  4. what a sweet man to do that for you.

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  5. What a special Grandpa you had!

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  6. Yep, that was a loving grandfather, and a pretty thoughtful grandson, too. I'm glad you two got to share that experience, even if in retrospect was more for you than him. :)

    S

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  7. What a special old man, to see the movie with you, with pleasure. And, I mean that sincerely, although I had fun writing it.

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  8. Your Grandpa must have been adorable, because grandparents are.

    Isn't it funny how we used to think of our grandparents as old and now we are old ourselves.

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  9. Great story. It really was sweet of him to go with you. My grandma took me to my first movie, "The Boy With Green Hair," when I was five. There were some sad parts, and I still remember how much it hurt when I got a lump in my throat.

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  10. What's a grandpa for?

    Though truth be told I had a twinge of jealousy at first. I had 2 natural and one step grandfather and, well, none was a grandpa. Ya know?

    But then the jealousy fades when I am reminded of an 'adopted' neighborhood grandpa.

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  11. One important job of grandparents is to make great memories. Sounds like your "Old Man" was a master.

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  12. What a lovely Grandpa memory. My grandpa was very special too. I think I'm inspired to write about him now.

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