Earlier this week we lost Opa, also known as Opie to my kids. (Opa is German for Grandfather.) He was 97 and always full of laughter, stories mischief and occasional a song.
A self-made man with experience with just about anything. He was a rancher, a gardener and friends with President Lyndon B. Johnson. He flew planes, played the fiddle, and other instruments, sold Massey-Furgeson tractors, and grew and sold peaches, by the truckload, to name a few. This is how I remember him most… that and him flipping the bird every time we asked him to smile for a picture.
Peaches are still my all time favorite. I remember he’d put me to work helping him sell his Fredericksburg peaches in the summer. All I had to do was stand by the road and eat peaches. They were so juicy, people would pull over and buy them. My Mom made me a special shirt with puffy paint that said “Opa’s Little Helper”. Opa always joked that I ate all his profits.
Coincidentally, last weekend when Tarin and I were doing the last of our garden shopping at the nursery we made a few impulse buys. A peach tree was one of them. I told her about my Opa and how proud he’d be. I had planned to talk with Opa yesterday about our new tree and get all his peach farming tips. Unfortunately that call was scheduled a day too late.
He’s going to be missed by all his children and grandchildren. Everyone drove up for his funeral today. Unfortunately, with Brian Sr.’s brain surgery early next week, we are quarantined and travel isn’t an option. It was devastating not being able to be in Texas with family for his memorial. Thankfully my cousin, Cassandra, FaceTimed us during the service.
Afterwards, we held a little memorial of our own and planted our peach tree in his memory.
It’s sweet and special new addition to our garden. In the next few days we’ll go down to the creek to find the right rock to paint and lay at the base of the tree.
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