My kids call my dad Grumpy, which is kinda right on the money, only not where they are concerned. When it comes to “his boys” he’s Mr. Here’s A Five Dollar Bill, No Make it a Ten, Sure Have Two More Doughnuts, Anything You Want is Yours Baby!
A far cry from the man I grew up with.
My Dad was in the corp at Texas A&M. He trained as an officer for the Marines. After that, he flew helicopters for the Houston Police Department, followed by a stint as an undercover narcotics agent, then police chief, then investigator for banks (think fraud/forgery/etc).
So, you might imagine that he could be a bit of a hard nose. He ran his house like a tight ship. Trash cans in bedrooms and bathrooms should be empty at all times. Lines from the vacuum should be visible. If they aren’t it ain’t clean. There would be no sleeping in sister, there were cars to wash, miles to jog. We woke to reveille or the theme from Rocky and we walked the line.
Turns out though, having grandchildren turns you into a biggo softie.
My Dad revels in his new role. He thinks his grandkids are the best thing that ever happened.
So imagine his delight when the opportunity presented itself to take them to his alma mater, Texas A&M, home of the Aggies, for the weekend!
I don’t know who was more excited, the boys, or their Grumpy.
We started with a little trip to the world famous Dixie Chicken.
This is more or less a yummy grub, honky tonk, pool hall, place to while away the hours drinking beer and playing dominos kind of establishment.
It’s one of those things you just have to do, if you’re an Aggie.
We managed to time it just right. There was a crawfish boil going on out back. My poor deprived children had never seen such a thing as a crawfish. They kept calling them crabs.
After that, we headed off to the campus bookstore for new hats. Cuz, you gotta have yourself a hat.
Then on to the maroon and white scrimmage.
I know it’s silly, but it was really kind of goose bump inducing thrillicious to watch my fellas walk up the dark ramp and out into the big bright brilliance of Kyle Field for the very first time. They were gape mouthed.
Grumpy was tickled, head to toe.
From the national anthem, to the big scoreboard, to the Dippin’ Dots, to all the Aggie yells (that’s cheers, for the uninitiated) and the fight song to the fireworks… well, it was a lot of fun.
And I think Grumpy got his wish… three little men went home all on fire to be Aggies someday.
Imagine, all of my shaggy headed little boys growing up to be big men, with crew cuts and uniforms, and girls waiting to dance with them down at the Chicken.
I might need a sedative.