Last July, my dad gave me this picture of my grandfather's 1969 softball team. That's my Grandpa DJ in the photo below, top row, 4th from the left, wearing a plain white t-shirt. He was 40 in this photo, just a few years older than I am now.
When my dad gave me the photograph, we were days away from having our new double-wide parked on DJ's land in the Catskills. We had spent the previous year figuring out how to tear down his 1972 trailer and rebuild a new one, without sacrificing too much of the rustic charm that had made his old place so special to me for all of my life.
My grandfather has been gone since I was in 5th grade, but when I look at this photo, I like to think that he is looking back at me, with a towel around his neck and a drink in his hand. I've always felt that he's been with me all along, watching quietly from the sidelines of my life.
Cheers to you, DJ.