I was always in awe of my grandfather. He came over with my grandmother and my father from West Germany in 1954 to settle in New Jersey. He flew planes. He rode on whaling vessels. He traveled all over the world. He used to ride the rails, carrying a basket of food for my grandmother and her family when they were dating, because my grandmother lived in an area that was heavily bombed during the war, and food was scarce.
When my grandfather died last May, our family sat around looking over all his old pictures, telling stories, remembering all his little quirks. My grandfather and I were alike in a lot of ways - our builds were very similar, we both had the habit of pacing back and forth after being somewhere for too long. We both loved to wear the same hats.
So we went through a bunch of things, and my grandmother showed me some pictures of my grandfather when he was much younger, and just starting out in life. I looked at them with my dad, and he said, "Grandpa was the coolest guy I'd ever seen." he was trying not to cry as he looked at this guy who was so young.
This is my grandfather.