We called my grandfather “Pop”. He seemed, when we were little, to be a big man and I guess he was.

He was a carpenter, cabinet maker and furniture maker. He made antique reproduction furniture at a company called Biggs Antique Furnture. He also built houses with my great uncle, Allen, his brother. He built two of the houses we lived in growing up. At one of them, he lost two fingers at the second knuckle in an accident with a power saw.

His family called him “Charlie”. His first born son was Charles Joseph , Jr, Dad. They called my father “Junior”. My brother was Charles Joseph, III. They called him Charlie Joe

Pop was a very gentle, almost serene man. He had the ability to calm children down. Once my sister got upset about something. He picked her up, placed her in a chair, and put a cool compress on her forehead. She never forgot that.

He didn’t talk much. Once my younger brother and Pop drove to Florida. He didn’t say much the whole trip. Maybe when it was time to stop for gas, he would say it was time to stop for gas.

He smoked Pall Mall Cigarettes. They were “King size” unfiltered, and came in a deep red pack. The tag line in their Fifties era commercial was “Outstanding… and they are mild.” He smoked cigars, too. Cheap ones. His idea of an expensive cigar was. an Antonio y Cleopatra Grenadier. I still have cigar boxes of the kind he smoked. He smoked a pipe too. I didn’t save any of his pipes. I think I have a Borkum Riff canister of his, but it might have been my elder brother’s.. That was Charlie Joe,

On Sunday, Pop got dressed up to go to Church and stayed dressed up all day. Men did that then. Blue collar men that is. During the week he smelled like sweat, tobacco, and sawdust all combined.

He smelled like a man.