Monday, October 1, 2012

The End Of Trail

My grandfather's name was Joseph Anthony Loehrer and he lived his entire adult life at 705-11th street in Boone, Iowa.  He was truly a great man. Grandpa was born in Milwaukee in 1888, moved to Boone in 1901 and finished out his life journey there in April of 1975. He didn't have many close friends that I knew about. He lived a solitary life after his beloved wife, Blanche, died in 1952. He much preferred to tend to his flowers, his gardening and listening to Jack Shelley news reports on WHO radio out of Des Moines.  Grandfather went to Mass on a daily basis until the day he died. I was having coffee in my old hometown three years ago with a man named Tom Matt. He is a former policeman and Boone historian. The subject of my grandfather came up and he related how he remembered him, at age 87, walking down the street, chin up, shoulders erect with a brisk walking gait. Grandpa always wore a Baker's cap. Maybe that's why I own six of them except mine are wider across the top.  I would never call my grandfather, 'Gramps'. That would be a sign of disrespect to this very German man. He didn't smile much. None of us Loehrer's do. We laugh and we chuckle but smiling, well, that must be a German thing, too. One time, when I was ten I visited Grandpa with my dad following Sunday Mass. As I walked in the front door I flippantly said, "Hello, Joe, whaddya' know"? He looked at me with a deadly stare then chuckled. The sweat was already on my brow as I prepared for a justified dressing down. When Grandpa died in April of that year in '75 I cried like I've never cried before. I shed tears because I knew I'd never see him again. I also sobbed uncontrollably because I knew there was so much more I wanted to ask him that I never got around to doing.
My grandfather's home was adorned with religious pictures, very large ones. I recall the Sacred  Heart of Jesus, the one of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The crucifix was in every room of the house. Above the entrance from the dining room to the living room was a picture of The End Of The Trail. I never asked Grandpa why it was there. I wish I had. I wonder if it had any significance. I'll never know.
I've been doing a lot of thinking about my blog this last month. It started four years ago this October as a hobby, an alternative to doing crossword puzzles. I'd write three blogs a day, mostly opinion pieces. In 2012 I was doing fifteen to twenty on a daily basis, spending eight hours a day of my life putting articles, mostly conservative ones, on the site. I'd write opinion pieces, sometimes thinking I'm the next Joseph Pulitzer. Underconfidence has never been a problem for me.
With all this writing I had, in essence, become very selfish.I've decided I wanted to spend the mornings with Lizzie, drinking coffee and discussing the days events.  I want to plan our lives and the future. I want to spend as much time as possible with my best friend so I've decided to terminate my blog; doing it with happiness and satisfaction. For me this is my personal end of the trail.
My sincere thanks to everyone who came to my site. You gave me your most important commodity. You gave me your time.
God bless you all.
MJ Hawkeye