Friday, October 7, 2011

DAPPER DAN ..... (and playing catch up) ..... Day 5 of Blogtoberfest

Thomas John Cooper

Thomas John Cooper and Judith Amy Taylor (need Redpath)

Thomas John Cooper

(Am a little bit behind in my Blogtoberfest posting so I'm playing catch up .... will post again later on. Am having computer problems at the moment).

DAPPER DAN is what comes to mind when I look at this photo of my great grandfather. Dressed to the nines he epitomises the man that he was. Neatly dressed he was a perfectionist to a large degree. Everything he did was always to the best of his ability. It mattered to my grandfather that things were perfect. I have gleaned this information from family and various things that I saw as a very young child. He was a fastidious man .... everything had to be in it's place. An honourable man, he provided well for his family and loved them very much.

As a child I remember clearly the wonderful things that he made for us to play with and in particular the wooden swing. Primitive by todays standards, my siblings and I spent hours on that swing ..... backwards and forwards, over and over, swinging through the air ...... fun, relaxing, comforting. If I close my eyes I still remember that feeling now.

My mother was the first of two daughters born to my grandmother Amy Lilian and was greatly loved by her grandparents. My mother is the little girl on the horse in the photo above. I love my grandfather's smile and the tiny arm that is resting on his arm, clinging securely to his jacket, safe in the knowledge that she was protected from falling off the horse.

The great grandfather that I remember towards the end of his life is the one in the third photo.
My great grandfather was raised for part of his life by a single parent, his mother. I not sure how old he was at the time, but his father left the family. Years went by and my great grandfather never saw his father again. No one knew at the time what had happened to him. Many years later my great grandfather was sitting on a train and he overheard two people talking ... one was reading from an article in the Newspaper about a man that was living in New Zealand, was blind, and was trying to find his family before he died. His children were mentioned in the article, including how many he had. From the conversation my grandfather recognised that they were talking about his father. Interrupting the two people talking he said "Could I please see that article, I think you are talking about my father." It certainly did turn out to be his father. One can only imagine growing up, never knowing what happened to his father and now to hear this, I can feel his excitement at finally having an answer.

Sadly, none of the family got to see him before he died, but somehow I feel that it must have been a comfort to my grandfather to finally know that his father had actually been alive, albeit, that he had started a new life thousands of miles away in another country. I know too that there must have been other and equally strong emotions, possibly very mixed and perhaps even leaving him feel abandoned and unwanted.

Although I never met him I am grateful at least to have this one photo of my great great grandfather and know where my great grandfather came from.


Kris said...

That's an interesting story. My father's father left their family when my father was five and the five brothers and sisters were raised in an orphanage. One of them was even adopted by another family. My father looked for his father many times, but he was never heard from again.

Lotti said...

That would be so sad, never to know what happened to your father.