My Grandpa was a gardener. He once won "best vegetable" in a gardening competition that he hadn't meant to enter. He has a garden full of roses.
He once quit a job because management told him he wasn't allowed to whistle while he worked.
When he was young, he loved to dance. Especially at fancy dress parties.
He loved animals. He founded the Husky Club of Great Britain, he raised huskies and rabbits and helped out at the local zoo.
My Grandpa loved the theatre, especially Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. My grandmother remembers watching him in shows and noticing that he had "a great pair of legs in tights".
He was addicted to The Young and The Restless and could tell you plot lines as far back as thirty years ago.
My grandpa was a brave man. Despite being unable to join the armed forces, he volunteered to climb up on rooftops, wearing a tin helmet, and be a lookout for approaching planes.
He brought his wife and four young children from England to Canada in the 60's, leaving everything they knew.
He was a generous man. If someone mentioned that they needed anything in his hearing, they were likely to find that what was broken had been mysteriously fixed, or that Grandpa had found an "extra" telephone, microwave or washer and dryer "in the attic".
He liked to fix things himself. On the rare occasion that he couldn't, he would follow the repair person around asking questions and watching closely so that he would know for next time.
He always wanted to have the very latest in technology, sometimes to the consternation of his family as he would replace practically brand new things. (Of course, he might have heard that someone needed one and he found that he needed an "extra".)
When he needed to concentrate, he stuck his tongue out the side of his mouth and hummed.
He could be cranky. He could be obstinate. He was not a saint.
He was my Grandpa, and I will always love him. And wherever he is, I hope that there is dancing.
Eric J. Barker
May 9, 1923 - August 30, 2011