Today we celebrated the life of my grandfather, Willard Earle Dezotelle, Sr. His funeral was held in a tiny, country church in Waterville, VT, the town he and his late wife – my grandmother – Delia Dezotelle called home for decades. Their ashes were buried together in a lovely cemetery in Belvidere, VT, the town he was born and raised in.
I wanted to honor him here on my blog with a special care package.
This one’s for you, Grandpa.
To My Grandfather (Modified)
By Georgia Harkness
A giant pine, magnificent and old
Stood staunch against the sky and all around
Shed beauty, grace and power.
Within its fold birds safely reared their young.
The velvet ground beneath was gentle,
and the cooling shade gave cheer to passers by.
Its towering arms a landmark stood, erect and unafraid,
As if to say, “Fear naught from life’s alarms”.
It fell one day.
Where it had dauntless stood was loneliness and void.
But men who passed paid tribute – and said,
“To know this life was good,
It left it’s mark on me. Its work stands fast”.
And so it lives. Such life no bonds can hold –
This giant pine, magnificent and old.
Art: Normal Rockwell’s Untitled
Quote: “A grandfather is someone you can look up to no matter how tall you grow.” – Unknown
Song: Farewell Party by Gene Watson
Something Extra: I shared a story in the eulogy I delivered today about this impromptu fishing pole my grandfather made for me. Photos and an excerpt from the eulogy follow:
It’s 1983, and we’re working in a pasture that’s cornered off by the Lamoille River and the Judevine Brook. I’m helping Grandpa build fence, but I’m also bored because I’m a kid and would rather be playing with my Matchbox cars. So Grandpa starts talking about fishing, and I get real excited about it.
He rummages around in the mess behind the seat of the old farm truck and finds hooks, sinkers, and line. No pole, though. Then Grandpa cuts this branch out of a tree and rigs up a makeshift rod. He helps me cast into the Judevine, and then we push this handle end of the stick into the ground and go back to our fence.
I sort of forget about the fishing, but a little while later, we’ve got the fence built up to where we cast out. From the corner of my eye, there’s a glint of light at the water’s surface, and I look down. Caught on the hook is the prettiest rainbow trout I’ve ever seen. About a foot long. I start freaking out, and Grandpa helps me bring it in. My mind is blown, and I’ve got a fish story that’s lasted a lifetime.