Today brought up a lot of memories for me. Memories of events in my life that have meant so much to me. I remember being a little girl and walking around the corner to visit with my grandpa and grandma. We lived in Rancho Cordova, California and we were blessed to have them around the corner. Now mind you I was three years old and I wasn’t supposed to leave the house. But, I was a slick chick. I knew how to time it so that I could sneak out and go around the corner when I knew they would be home from work.
I loved spending time with my grandpa in the kitchen. He was the one that did the majority of the cooking. I had a stool that I would sit in to watch him cook. To me this was my little spot of heaven. My grandparents would always ask me “Does your mom know where you are?” Whether it was true or not I always told them that she knew. Honestly I don’t remember how many times it was really true that I asked. My mom tells me that she would notice I was gone and know exactly where I was.
Holidays were wonderful! The smells in his kitchen were always the best. Grandpa could cook like no one I knew. Ours was the perfect relationship. I would talk his ear off and he was always more than thrilled to let me rattle on. He was a man of few words and was always more than glad to let someone else carry the conversation. Don’t get me wrong, he would talk too. Just not nonsense talk like a small child might. I am not sure how much was nonsense though because I learned a lot of things from Egon Warnke.
He was one of the smartest people you might ever meet. He could do logarithms in his head out to the eighth place in his head. I have a problem doing them on paper and certainly not out to the eighth place. He was a self-educated man, he was forced to leave school in middle school to help support the family as many young men were in those days. He was born in 1908. He never served in a war because he had a glass eye from a mishap with one of his sisters as a youngster.
He worked as a drafter as a young man until you had to have a degree to do the job. He didn’t let that stop him, neither did he let not having a full education stop him. He was a hardworking man from strong stock. His mom, my great grandma was a strong, strong woman. When she married my grandpa's stepfather who wasn’t a citizen of the US she lost her citizenship and her right to vote. She did obtain her citizenship again.
In the days that she was widowed a woman wasn’t allowed to own the title to property so the farm was in her oldest son’s name. Grandma Cerr would get up early in the morning to make breakfast for the farm workers then go to work in the fields. Then she would leave the field to make lunch for them. While they ate she would return to the field to work. She would work as hard as any man. Grandpa learned well what it was like for a woman to be strong. This was something he always worked to instill in my mom and then later in my sister and I.
My grandfather was way ahead of his time. He always believed in equal rights for all. It didn’t matter who you were he believed you were his equal. I know many men born years after him that aren’t as evolved as he was. I am sure that it was because of his mom. He lived until about a month before his 99th birthday. He saw many things in his rich lifetime. He was a jewel.