Friday, August 14, 2009

GG Webb will be missed!!!

Ben's Grandpa Webb passed away Wednesday evening. If you click on the link below it will take you to a picture of him and you can also read his obituary. Ben is having a hard time right now....Ben was very close to his grandfather. Ben doesn't deal with the whole funeral/death thing very well, not sure who does, but after talking with his dad, mom, and grandmother has decided not to attend the funeral. He did write a few things for his dad to say on his behalf. Please keep, Ben, Grammy, Grampy, Rachel, and GG (his grandmother), and the rest of the family in your prayers as they are going through a very difficult time right now.}

Here is what Ben wrote for his dad to say on his behalf at the funeral:

Grandpa Webb meant more to me than I have the words for. He taught me many things before the age of 12 that few men would have the patience or courage to do. Like driving a bulldozer, operating a backhoe, or driving an 18 wheeler (I was only steering). One thing he didn’t have the patience with me for was driving his standard transmission pick up. When I was 8 Grandpa let me drive his pick up around the lumber by myself after about a 10-minute tutorial on shifting. I drove around in first gear for about 30-minutes before he came out of the office flagged me down and said “There are 4 other gears you can use, why don’t you try them so we don’t spend the afternoon trying to get my transmission fixed.” So, I pulled back out and experimented shifting through the gears and realized I can go faster in higher gears. After a time or two jumping the railroad tracks the truck slipped out of gear on a steep incline and I started rolling backwards. My 8 years of life experience limited my options to avoid catastrophe so I stomped on the brake and skidded to a stop. I sat there for a few minutes and started honking the horn in what I thought was Morse code for S.O.S. AT that moment for the first and last time in my life I saw Grandpa come as close to running as I can remember. When he got to the driver side window he said well, your smarter than I thought you were and put the truck in park. On the quieter than normal ride back to the office I asked Grandpa “Did you hear the Morse code when I was honking and the only answer I got was his always big grin and his rare loud belly laugh. I won’t share the sequel to this memory, but I will tell you the next Saturday morning Grandpa picked me up in a new truck. When I asked why he got a new truck he said “I decided you were tough enough on my transmission I needed an automatic that was a little sturdier since you managed to beat the hell out of the damn shocks”.
Grandpa taught me the value of a good pocketknife and how to use it for things not necessarily promoted by the manufacturer. A few of these were trimming your finger nails and performing minor surgery to remove anything that might have found their way into your arms at the lumber yard. Grandpa gave me my first swig of beer to prove that the “tang” of a cold beer quenches thirst better than a cold soda that’s too sweet and was full of sugar. He showed me, which firehouses in Chenango County had the best Sausage Gravy at their pancake breakfasts, and how to space breakfast and brunch so you can still be home in time for lunch. Grandpa taught me that it’s not a bad thing to not be talkative because it limits the opportunities to say something dumb.
I’ve heard many stories of Grandpa’s strength and witnessed many of them myself. My dad will tell you when he first met Grandpa, that Grandpa was tossing 4 X 4 picnic tables on a flat bed by himself. I remember him carrying logs. I’ve heard he once broke up a fight between two grown men in the saw mill by picking each man up by the scruff of their necks and throwing them in the yard and telling them to “stay out there where you won’t get hurt.” Finally, I remember the one time I behaved in a manor that I required some discipline. Grandpa simply pinched the small hairs on the back of my head and lifted me off the ground and that’s when I knew Grandpa had my best interests in mind at all times.
As I grew up and Grandpa got older I occasionally would get a call from Grandma asking me to come help Grandpa move some things around. He never liked me helping do things he could always do with ease, but each time he got more a more comfortable with it. One of my most memorable conversations with Grandpa happened when I was 17. Grandpa and I were moving something of considerable size and weight and having a conversation about schoolwork. When we finished I realized I must have been taking more of the weight than Grandpa was because he was looking at me funny. To say Grandpa was a man of few words would be an understatement, but I will remember what he told me at that moment for the rest of my life. Grandpa, while looking at my in a strange way said “You may grow to be stronger than me, bigger than me, and smarter than me, but you’ll never be as handsome as me!”
Grandpa taught me more things than I can remember and was always willing to show me something new. Grandpa showed me how to act like a man and was always someone I looked up too. If everyone had a Grandfather like Grandpa Webb the world would be a different place. As I grew up I wasn’t a great Grandson and didn’t visit or call Grandpa as much as I should have, but he was always a Great Grandfather. I love you Grandpa and will miss you always.

Benjamin “C” Symonds

* Grandpa would always address letters to me as “Benjamin C. Symonds” for Charles instead of Sidney.

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