A Walk in Papa's Past
"Hello Papa. I was wondering if you had time to start the interview right now?" I sent the text to my Grandpa, whom I refer to as Papa. "Sure, that'll be fine. I'll get ready" he sent back. I grabbed my notebook and pencils, questions, and tape recorder and headed into the office room. We had set up a week ago to FaceTime; he said he would be glad to answer my questions. The window right next to the computer was making a lot of noise, so I shut it. I logged into FaceTime, and got a call from Papa a few minutes after.
He was FaceTiming me from his iPad camera, situated in the living room. He held the iPad at an upward angle, showing most of the top of his head. I started the recorder and we got started.
Papa has short, dark grey hair that is very soft and thin. He has a large bald spot on the top of his head, and the bald spot always looks shiny. He has yellow looking teeth and a smile that lights up the entire room. Papa's eyes are a sky blue, protected by square glasses that catch every glimpse of light. His ears are big, so are his smile wrinkles and dimples.
Papa's voice is deep but smooth, sometimes replaced by coughing. He has a very distinct scent that sticks to all of his clothes. Papa is 75 years old and lives near the sea in San Diego, California. He was originally born in Canada. Papa is fond of traveling to very different places and playing golf with his friends. He is very laid back and chill, and laughs with a smile you can see in his eyes. He is very intelligent and "tech savvy" as well. Papa enjoys to write letters to me, and I enjoy writing back.
"What is one thing you can look back on and say you are proud of?" I said. He thought for a moment before answering.
"Back in the time, I was very pleased to have graduated University. I was also pleased that I had started a very successful company." He paused, then continued.
"And I made some good money when the company went public." He concluded. Out of those three, Papa said that making good money made the most impact on his life. "I was able to retire with some good money." he laughed, gazing over the iPad. "What was school like for you as a child?" I asked him.
"Okay, lets put it this way: I wasn't an "A" student. I got through high school, then through University in 4 years." he said. "I enjoyed sports... played sports. And most of my friends in high school were friends from the sports that I played. Papa played a lot of hockey while living and growing up in Canada. He also liked to play baseball.
"What has been your favorite trip or vacation you've ever been on?" I asked him curiously.
"Probably.... When Nana and I took your mom, Tia and Q, and your dad and Matt to Italy for two weeks one year."
"And why did you enjoy it so much?" I questioned.
"It was special because the rest of the family had not been to Italy, though I had been. And it was fun to show them... to visit places."
Papa also said he could have been a better student when I asked him the question; "What is one thing you think you could have done better or corrected when you were younger?"
"Thinking about every year that you have experienced that has led up to now, from 1940 to 2015, what year do you think you had "the best year of your life"?" He thought of that question for awhile, laughing to himself.
" Probably 1964 or 65, because that year I had changed jobs, I was excited about the new job, and also getting married to Nana." Papa said the youngest memory he could remember was him walking to school in Canada, about age 5 or 6. "We had to walk three blocks there every day, then three blocks back" He concluded.
When Papa told me about his favorite vacation answer, it made me really think and reflect on now. My parents visit Italy and Europe all of the time, so maybe the reason they like to visit Italy all the time is the way Papa introduced it to them. Papa seemed to really like talking about him graduating University, like he wanted me to remember. He almost always answered his questions with "Probably", like he wasn't 100% sure. He sometimes stumbled around, searching for the right words to say. In many ways and more, I love my Grandpa.