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Memories of my Grandfather Esplin

By Amy E. Levanger

My first recollections of Grandpa are of living in his house when I was four years old. Grandma and Grandpa had two rooms in the house in the winter and the whole house when we lived at the sheepherd in the summer. They stayed in town and raised a garden.

Grandpa and I always had fun talking about our birthdays. I was always older than he because my birthday was two days before his. We exchanged gifts. He’d give me oranges, my favorite fruit. I’d give him hoarhound candy. He called me Jackie. I think he wanted me to be a boy and be named for him. I liked being a tom- boy.

He used to wake us up long before we thought it was time. He believed in rising early and thought everyone else should too. It seems Grandpa’s habit of awaking early stayed with him throughout his life. As I recall it, he was out walking early in the morning when he was hit by an automobile. He died on my birthday, the year of the deepest snow I can remember.

After Grandma died we moved into the place where my parents now live. Each fall the family and Grandpa used to go down to the Cove and to gather in the potatoes. We’s take our lunch and stay all day. We went with team and wagon.

One summer we older kids were helping Grandpa haul hay from the Cove. With one load just as we went over the top of the hill the horses started running. The hay slipped off with Grandpa and all of us kids. My brother, Dick, just younger than I, was covered up pretty good. Grandpa had the funniest look on his face as he came hurrying around to find us all. He couldn’t see Dick; but pretty soon Dick came thrashing out of the hay. I guess the funny look on Grandpa’s face was fright. We had never seen him frightened before.

I have always been glad that I had John James Esplin for a grandfather. They just don’t come any better.

Hattie says when Frant was a little fellow he used to stand on his head against the wall. He was always amusing the family with his words and actions. Sometimes he was a little naughty. At one time he was threatened, “ I am going to spank your pants.” “All right,” he said, “When I go to bed I will hang my pants on the door for you.”