My grandfather was an individualist and an independent thinker. But he was also a bit of a contradiction because he was dependent on my grandmother (and she on Grandpa) and liked to talk to other people. Grandpa was a born storyteller and storytellers need audiences.
The next passage in Grandpa’s story illustrates his individualism:
Grandma and Grandpa attended First United Methodist Church in downtown Kalamazoo (known for many years as First Methodist before the denomination merged with United Brethren). Although his relatives had belonged to the (Dutch) Reformed Church, that stopped after Grandpa’s mother had gotten angry at someone. She had given a quilt to the church for a White Elephant sale (or something similar), and then she saw it hanging from someone else’s clothesline. The implication was that she discovered someone had “appropriated” the quilt for herself. That caused my great-grandmother not to go back to her own church. Like many of the family stories that have been told and re-told until I learned them, this could be the reason–or there could be another reason.
Grandma was brought up in Caledonia, and the Methodist Church was part of her upbringing. So it was natural that my grandparents attended the big English Gothic church. The building was brand new when my grandparents were starting out their lives as a married couple.
A lot of my mother’s extended family went to this church and it’s seen my family at baptisms, weddings, and funeral receptions. I attended Sunday School there at least one year and Bible School at least one summer and have gone to services, most notably many Christmas Eves.
I remember looking for Grandpa after the service one Sunday. He was in the “treasury.” On other occasions, I remember trying to get him to come to service with us, but he never would.
Why? He said he couldn’t sit still.
And I think that’s true. Wherever Grandpa was with family, no matter what we were in the middle of, he would suddenly stand up and say, “Time to go, Edna.” He had what we used to call “ants in his pants” and had to be on the move.
I hope you’ll stay tuned for Part X of Grandpa’s story . . . .
Here are the first parts of the story:
Click this link for Part I
Click this link for Part II
Click this link for Part III
Click this link for Part IV
Click this link for Part V
Click this link for Part VI
Click this link for Part VII
Click this link for Part VIII