Thursday, February 21, 2008

My grandpa

My grandpa died last year. Not exactly unexpectedly, but then again death is never really expected. I didn't know him that well, but out of all the members of my family, I am probably most like him.

I wish I would have gotten to know him better, but just when my own sense of identity began to become clear and I started a long journey to make peace with myself, he began a slow decline into ill health. My grandma began to develop Alzheimer's, and one day she mistook my grandpa for an intruder and brained him with a frying pan. He required hospitalization and many stitches and he couldn't talk for a long while. He looked absolutely terrible with a shaved head and giant stitches, filled with frustration at the inability to talk. I gave him my first and last adult hug at that hospital in St. Cloud. Meanwhile my grandmother didn't even know what was going on. I felt utterly unable to even attempt to establish a connection with her.

He got better and I did see him once more at Christmas, where he seemed to take some joy in interacting with Maya, my sister's young daughter. He talked about his new invention with me and my partner, a vertical windmill. He even sketched out a plan.

But then his health failed and he died.

Here are some of his inventions:

Opposing Piston Engine

Animal Watering Apparatus

A machine for injecting fluid chemicals into the ground attachable to the lift arms of a farm tractor

Rotatable Heat Transfer Fan

An automatic plowing apparatus having a self- propelled vehicle carrying facing plows guided by a cable extended across a field


JB aka JayBee said...

Cosmic Monkey,

Did patenting his devices seem to be useful to him? Do any of his devices seem to have practical uses at this time?

It is fascinating to think about the generations that have come and gone before us and how little we learn from them.

I have often fantasized about meeting my grandfathers in person at the same relative age and wondered what they would be like. I also wondered about meeting my father at my age. I don't think I would have cared for my father at 32 very much.

gianna said...

I think I learned a little more about Grandpa from your post, Andrew!

Anonymous said...

High my name is Richard Wilts,,I work for Maurice when he was making thhe different kinds of waters for animals in his shop outside of Kerkhoven .I Built the molds for most of them and the water that came from it.
Maurice was a great guy...we had a lot in common I went to school for tec. Illastration AND drafting and I welded together that windmill he had in the field south of his house.I to enjoy making things that i first put to paper..
I will miss him..

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