Sometimes I think of him just out of the blue.
He was a the best grandpa a little girl could ask for. All I remember of him are good things. I honestly can't remember having one negative thought toward him. The things that were strange about him, they were just quirks--they weren't *bad*, just funny. He was charasmatic and joyful. He always was smiling and was the most kind-hearted person I think I've ever met.
Trips to Reno (where we'd go pick him up at the airport) were some of the best traveling experiences of my life. I remember he would sit in the front seat, and I would always sit directly behind him. I remember staring at the back of his bald head and saying, "Hi Grandpa!" just because I didn't have anything else to say--I was just happy he was there.
I don't know why my assocations with childhood and Grandpa are so interlinked, but they are. Maybe it's because he was a person who truly knew how to love, and all the best things about childhood had him as a part of them--Christmases, Thanksgivings, Birthdays, Summers... he made sure to be there for many of them from my adoption to just before I turned 7.
He was giving, gracious--my mom says he was a "man without guile. He loved books, and therefore was totally excited to read to me. I think he was a major factor in me becoming kind of a ravenous reader.
He was a definite lover of Southern California and lived there his whole life. I think that love rubbed off on me quite a bit. I still have this palm tree obsession, even though I see them all the time around here. I have yet to have one of my own. We're trying to grow one, but it's really little and so it doesn't count.
He took us to Disneyland twice. Those were the best trips to Disneyland I can remember.
Grandpa was sophisticated, but not pretentious. He loved anything classy--old movies and musicals were his favorites. He had been a tour guide and gave garden tours in Europe. He was very in-the-know when it came to new technologies. We have home movies he put together from when *he* was a young man, up to home movies from when my sister and I were little. Greg was touched when he saw all the home movies of me. He said, "Wow. Grandpa Campbell really loved you."
My mom says he was short, but I remember him being tall. I suppose that is because I was little the last time I saw him, and maybe because I looked up to him so much.
I was devastated when he died, even though I was only seven years old. It was a month before my 7th birthday. We were expecting him to come to visit, and I am still feeling like it was pretty unfair for him to go and leave like that. It's only because he was such a great person. I would have kept him around forever. I wish he could have met my kids.
Grandpa, I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again someday.