I just signed up for the #52ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge today! For those that don’t know, It’s a writing challenge run by Amy Johnson Crow to help prompt genealogy lovers into writing something each week, to get the old brain going.
The prompt this week is – COMEDY.
The first person who came into my mind when I thought of this word was my Grandfather, Bill Archer.
Born William Henry Archer – (the third, he used to joke, as he shared this name with his father and Grandfather) on April the 5th 1926. My Grandpa was a much loved and funny character. I can think of many times he made us all laugh, and a few where the Grand kids made him laugh too.
Known to my younger cousins as “Poppy” and to me as “Parpie”, as I couldn’t say Grandpa when I started speaking apparently. He was saddened when I told him one day that I was not going to call him “Parpie” anymore! He certainly loved to keep us kids happy and entertained. He’d buy lots of lollies and hide them in the cupboard for us to bang on the door and shout for (He not so secretly loved them himself).
Poppy loved to cook up a storm when he was older, he’d be at the kitchen counter and while his back was turned swing one of his legs to the back, point a toe and rotate his leg in a funny circle which looked hilarious. Sometimes I try it myself when I’m in the kitchen.
When I was a young child of about three, Parpie used to smoke. He told me one day he took me for a drive in his mini and left me in the car for a few minutes while he went into a shop (as you did back then). When he came out I had ripped up all of the cigarettes in his packet). I can’t remember this but at least he could have a laugh about it with me later on.
Parpie had a row of false teeth he’d put in a jar to clean each night. He told me the name for them was “Herbie”, and that he’d have to put “Herbie” in to go out anywhere!
His favourite clothing was short elasticated waistband ‘stubbies’ brand shorts, and a singlet which his large round tummy would be snug in. It was a relief for him to get home from work each day and change into them. One winter when my brother and I visited, he wore his flannelette pajamas, with pants pulled up over his tummy, his slippers and a very cute ear warming hat.
Dear Poppy/Parpie passed away at the relatively young age of 68 years old on the 8th August 1994. He had a number of health issues. It was very sad for us all. I was lucky he and Grandma were present at my wedding that year. We miss his stories, his way of speaking and the laughter we had with him.