When I was in the second or third grade, our substitute teacher took his teeth out to play the harmonica for my class. All of the other kids thought it was either funny or cool. I, on the other hand, couldn’t believe that my grandpa did that in front of my friends! Since that day, he’s never stopped surprising, impressing, teaching, loving, and inspiring me.
My grandpa is known throughout my hometown as “Mr. Wilhite, the yodeling substitute”. He taught math for thirty years and then substitute taught for over twenty. At eighty-three, he’s a man who still counts everything and can tell you exactly how many thousands of church/summer-league softball games he’s pitched. He attends as many high school and college sporting events as he can and often sings the National Anthem for everyone. He still works in his garden and delivers turnip greens to anyone who wants them, and once a week, he sings to people at a local nursing home, just like he’s been doing for years. I’m fairly certain that I get my loves for people, staying busy, and singing loudly in church from my beloved Pa Gene.
He began leading our family in Christmas carols on Christmas Eve, and I was so happy to be able to capture him doing one of the things he loves. He even threw in a few other favorites: Rocky Top, God Bless America, Bill Grogan’s Goat, and my personal favorite- Grandfather’s Clock.
Cling tight to the ones you love.