Today would have been the 98th birthday of James Lester Howard – my grandfather. The son of Mattie Maddox and Connie Howard the story of his life is rich and long. I have previously written about Granddaddy here, here and here.
But beyond the facts and dates, did you know Granddaddy was:
- The Caretaker – Granddaddy was the oldest of four children. He lost his mother at a young age and from that point on, became a caretaker. He looked after his siblings throughout their lives staying in close contact even in the adult years. As a father he took care “his girls”. As a grandfather and great grandfather he instilled a sense of family in the younger generations. A favorite memory is the walk through his rose garden after dinner. Another favorite memory is watching the interaction between Granddaddy and his great grandchildren during a fishing trip.
- A Southern Gentleman – One of my cousins remembers Granddaddy as a true southern gentleman. Yes, he most definitely was.
- A Special One – When I meet the older generation of cousins for the first time, I typically introduce myself and add that I’m Lester’s granddaughter. (This helps them place me in the family tree.) On one such occasion, I introduced myself to my grandfather’s first cousin. Her face softened and with a smile she simply stated “He was a special one.” That he was.
Did I mention he was indulgent when it came to the grandchildren?
Happy Birthday, Granddaddy!