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The House My Great Grandfather Built

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From the outside looking in, my Grandmom’s house might seem like a strange and backwards place. It is part warm and loving house that always feels like home and part decaying remanence of a mans life work. As I get older, the latter becomes more and more of a concern.

My great grandfather was the type of man that worked, and worked hard. Growing up during the depression he learned the value of hard work. He built the house that is now my grandmom’s house with his own two hands. The same home that my mom called a home until she left for college.

His passion and art were plants, specifically azaleas. He specialized in crossbreeding azaleas to produce unique colors never before seen, and soon will never be seen again. I am even fortunate enough to have one of his creations named after me.

The area surrounding the house once was a thriving plant nursery, with people constantly coming out to choose the perfect plant for their yard. Now, years after his passing, the areas around the house are more and more rapidly decaying. The once prized azaleas are being overgrown. The green house where many plants began their lives has all but fallen down. Only a few more years and everything that resembled a busy nursery will be gone.

What makes the area interesting, as you can see from the pictures, is that much of the nursery and it’s surround areas are exactly the same as the day my great grandfather died. The tools on his work bench are still strategically placed, just as he left it, with only dust and more rust being the difference in time. The tools that were left outside have all but rotted away, as if they had become a part of my grandfathers earthly body.

I knew my grandfather but I was very young. Seeing his tools and his work place give me insight into the work he did. Very rarely will you find an electric powered this, or a gas powered that. No, everything he did was done by hand, the hard way. And that was my grandfather if there was a hard way to do something he would find it, and happily do it.

I hope you enjoy the images and the insight into a strong man. A man who believed and hard work and worked hard up until he passed away at the age of 94. A man who was strong enough to kill a rattle snake with his bare hands by cracking it like a whip but gentle enough to tend and care for some of the most beautiful plants this world has ever seen.

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2 Comments

  1. Squeaker says:

    I would have loved to meet your great grandfather. When you were out shooting with dad, I went through his shed. It seriously looks like he was just in it the other day, minus the rust that has now accumulated. Great job once again honey!

  2. Dad says:

    Great job in capturing the spirit of the man responsible for the “home place”. It’s obvious now that it takes much effort to keep a place like that going and I wish it was in better shape. Still, it is, in a way, a fitting memorial for Luther (as is your post).

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