Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Grandfather's Secrets

My grandfather, Morley Mack, passed away on June 7th, 2008. I was at the funeral because my mom insisted that it would be a good way to get to know the man he was. I wasn't really sure what she meant by that, I'd only met him a few times growing up. I think he'd had a strained relationship with my mom and they never really made amends.

The funeral was small. If I remember correctly, there was the two of us, and maybe seven other people. All of them as old as grandpa would've been. Mom introduced me to everyone, but honestly, I don't recall any of their names. The only reason I'm even reflecting on that day, and blogging about it, is because today was a very strange day for me.

Because Grandpa Mack had never made a will, his property was tied up by the government until mom could get all the proper documentation to prove she was his last living relative. We'd been able to go through his house not long after the funeral to make a list of everything he had, but beyond that his belongings weren't accessible to us.

Well, this morning, lo and behold, the clearance letter from the government came through and mom is officially the sole inheritor of Grandpa Mack's estate. A tidy one bedroom home in a dangerous neighborhood and a vast collection of useless junk.

Or so I thought.

When we originally went through the house after the funeral, we never noticed that there was a small crawlspace above Grandpa's bed. That's where this story gets weird.

In it we found one thing: a shoebox. A shoebox full of photos and a thick journal of Grandpa Mack's notes from his younger days. He even labeled it.

Green Wake.

Simple black cover, with the title and an image I tried to copy that is posted at the top of the blog (the frog thingee). I'm a decent illustrator, I think my rendition of it is pretty cool.

There was also a spool of what looks like film, and I've googled around and found it's an audio recording done on an old Magnetophon.

Anyway, this blog is going to be following my thoughts and reactions to Grandpa Mack's journal and photos. I've skimmed it already, and there are some passages that are really strange. I think I'm finally beginning to understand why I saw so little of the man growing up.

I'm going to read over the first page of the journal in full tonight and post my thoughts tomorrow. I'll see if I can scan in a photo or two, I wouldn't count on it. My scanner doesn't work with my Mac for some reason.

Stay tuned!

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