Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Grandfather

The man I referred to as Pepaw - -
He was married to my Mema. They had four children together. The man my father and his three sisters called 'Dad'. I am blessed to be his only granddaughter.
He went to the grocery store of choice, normally Publix, pretty much every day. He was a polite man. He made funny faces at babies (I have pictures) and he is the one who taught me how to blow kisses when we said goodbye. This man was the one who drove my mom and I from Sarasota to Miami one time and had to listen to me read the book 'Never Talk to Strangers' 800 times. (I was three and he claimed that he hated that book). This is also the man I told 'Don't be here, Pepaw' when the love bugs were attacking our car while driving in Florida - around the same time as the book reading incident. This is the man who made the BEST pepper dressing and sausage gravy EVER...of course, not together. I remember pulling into their beach house and prancing up the stairs - stopping on the landing to see if they were in the kitchen. As I grew older and they moved into the 'city', they had a half circle driveway that you could see right into the kitchen - where they normally were. The kitchen was the heart of where our family was. I have the fondest memories sitting on the stools as an almost adult girl and talking, reading the paper, drinking juice and eating cereal in the mornings. I would love to sneak all the way around through the bedrooms and come in a different way and scare my Mema and Pepaw! My cousins ate the best chocolate pie one Christmas on those stools...they may not remember, but I think I have a picture to prove it.
I practically grew up at the house on the beach - on Longboat Key - I think I was almost in high school when they moved to the city. I had a baby pool there. I remember playing Boggle for hours with my cousin Mike. When we were allowed to watch TV, we watched Gilligan's Island, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. My uncle Paul knew the words to the song of Gilligan...and I marveled at that for some reason. I always asked Pepaw to make me some shrimp. This usually required lots of work, but he normally made it happen. He rented a bike for me one summer...upon returning it we stopped for ice cream BEFORE DINNER and he asked me not to tell my Mema - this is the first time I have ever shared that story with anyone! :)
He always took me to the Buccaneer restaurant to eat on the island. This required dressing up, but I loved it! We always had the same waiter - Otto - and I still remember eating there as if it were yesterday.
He did nice things for people because he genuinely loved and cared for them.
In elementary school I wrote a paper about him in P.E. class - his profession was a baseball player. He spent 11 seasons as a Milwaukee Brave pitcher (from 1953-1963) playing with greats like Warren Spahn, Henry "Hank" Aaron, Bob Buhl, Eddie Matthews and so many more. He was once a Yankee (gasp!), a Boston Brave before they moved to Milwaukee, a Cardinal, a Cub, a Phillie, and an Angel. His best years were spent in Milwaukee, where he helped give them their only championship in 1957, by pitching three games in the series and winning the decisive Game 7 on just two days rest. 3 complete games and 2 shutouts in a World Series?...well, it's just unheard of in these days!
In all my years growing up he was just my grandfather, but to so many others he was a legend. His legend lives on now...
My grandfather, Lou Burdette, passed away on Tuesday, February 6th at his home. Some of my family was present with him.
In a few weeks we will honor him - Dad, Pepaw, "Fidgety Lou", whatever you called him - at a memorial service in Winter Garden on the 24th. I am looking forward to celebrating his life and his achievements...none more important than the decision he made just weeks ago to acknowledge the Lord as Savior.

I will post some pictures of him in a day or so.
If you would like more information about him, you can read some articles on - it's one of the rotating stories.

"And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." Hebrews 11:6 NASB

I love you,




Southern Girl said...

Karen, that was a beautiful tribute to your Pepaw. What joy and relief you must feel, knowing he's with our Savior. I'm so glad he made that decision before it was too late. Blessings to you and your family as you celebrate his life.

~Betty~ @ On the Journey to Victory said...

What a cool post. I enjoyed reading about your Pepaw. It sounds like you have some great memories and that is wonderful.


Carol said...

Its a really nice post.
keep blogging

all the best