Monday, May 26

The Three Tenors

The Baird reunion is always held on the same weekend. I haven't gone for a few years, but as we are soon leaving the country, I figured we had better go. I remember most of the names of my grandpa's 7 brothers and sisters, but not all. Two, in particular, stick out in my memory.
They are my other two grandpas. As a young child, I would often confuse them with my own grandfather because they looked so similar. They all wore the same Dickie jumpsuits. They were all bald. They all had large ears. Seeing them this weekend, however, was bittersweet because I haven't seen them since Grandpa's funeral last March.

When we pulled up to the trailer spot, my husband said, "Look, there's your grandpa." Uncle Tom was sitting at the picnic table with my dad. I sort of shrugged and smiled and said, "Yeah." But Tom, for as nice of a substitute grandfather he makes, is not mine. He is more rotund. He has diabetes. He has a heart shunt. His hair is completely white. Later, we see Uncle Bob - the other grandpa look alike. He is also not Grandpa. He is deaf. He plays the harmonica, guitar, and fiddle.

I do love the greatest similarity between these three brothers: their tenor voices. Grandpa used to sing with me, his voice grown only a little wobbly with age:

"Mares eat oats, and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy. A kid'll eat ivy too, wouldn't you?"

He eventually stopped singing because he couldn't hear himself or the choir, and his two brothers have stopped for the same reason. Sometimes, when I am sad, I close my eyes and think about the three of them reunited; camping in their trailers, singing together around the fire. The stars are out and I am curled in my grandfather's lap, listening to the melody climb to the heavens.

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