Niagara Gazette


April 11, 2014

HAMILTON: The mirrors of my grandfather's fingernails

Niagara Gazette — What we do or don’t do will have a greater impact upon our grandchildren’s futures than what you might think. 

To positively change their futures, we must first know and understand how it is that we arrived at our own present, and then change it as necessary by using the positive, time-tested values of our own grandparents’ pasts. 

I could not have been more than about 5 years old when my dad drove the family to Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to visit my mother’s father. I remember sitting on grandfather’s lap, holding and examining his dark hands and asking him the kind of questions about them that any curious and secure tyke would ask. There were small, but deep vertical grooves that ran lengthwise through his then-manicured nails. They reminded me of the grooves on the vinyl music recordings of that day. I then compared my then-tiny and smooth fingernails to his.

It’s funny how small things can remind us of those who have gone before us. Just recently, I noticed those same grooves upon my own nails. As I stared at them, they seemingly transformed themselves into tiny and magical mirrors that foggily reflected back into the past; and I could see a 5-year-old little boy once again sitting upon his grandfather’s knee and looking at his hands.

Shakespeare wrote that the past is prologue. But sometimes it is a tad bit more than that. Human nature dictates that, as we go through life’s changes, we become those whom have gone before us.

Former Buffalo Mayor Grover Cleveland was president when my grandfather had left home and went off to work in the mines. According to my mother’s sister, grandfather was but three or so years older than I was when I would later sit upon his lap. He had carried with him a lunch pail in his hand, a bag of books over his shoulder and the dream of a better life in his head. His dreams did manifest themselves; as, near the age of 90, he died a self-taught, retired, coal mining superintendent. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page