Grandpa Bud was a Bullshitter
Mom was washing dishes and I was drying as I told her the story of Grandpa Bud's bum knee. It was an "old football injury" from high school. He got revenge the next year on the kid who did it to him when he broke three of the guy's ribs.
"He probably cracked one," my mom said.
"Why do you say that?"
"Your Grandpa Bud is a bullshitter." She said, as if it were a technical term.
My young life with Grandpa was filled with the stories he told. He taught us to play poker and told stories of playing blackjack in Reno at the same table with some celebrity whose name I can't remember. He won lots of money in that story. He was a truck driver for a few years, which provided him with an endless variety of tales of his travels.
No one ever taught Grandpa how to drive. One day he was supposed to go to town on an errand for his dad. He just got in the car and drove. His dad wondered how he got back so soon. "I took the car." In his story his dad was pleasantly surprised. I'm curious if that was his real reaction.
His stories gained credibility because he could actually DO some of the things he talked about. He could fix almost anything. He made me a slingshot. He could ride a bicycle while sitting on the handlebars facing backward. Not bad for an old guy.
It was fun working with with him. On hot summer days, we'd take our hoes to the fields to "clean the beans" All day, we'd chop down the weeds, up and down the rows. At break time, we'd sit on some rocks in the woods, drink iced tea, and I'd hear his stories. Life was good.
Grandpa Bud died in 1986 when I was 30, but his stories live on. Every time I see the bumper sticker that says, "THE OLDER I GET, THE BETTER I WAS," I think of Grandpa Bud and smile. I hope I can be a bullshitter when I grow up.