Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hauskaa syntymapaiva Papa Porgy!

Today is my Grandpa Porgy's 86th birthday! Grandpa was born in Butte, Montana. His father, Eino, had fled the family home in Finland 4 years prior to avoid conscription in the Russian army. Wilma, Grandpa's mother, had immigrated to the United States from another region of Finland at the age of 19 3 years before his birth. Grandpa spent the early years of his life moving throughout Montana, Idaho and his family even traveled back to Finland briefly (his name can be found at Ellis Island where he re-entered the USA). At the age of 6 he was put into his first English speaking school. Prior to this he spoke Finnish and got on well in a variety of other languages spoken by other immigrants residing within the mining community. He worked for awhile alongside his father in the copper mines, but eventually he left Montana and moved to Washington State. Here, at the age of 19, he met and married my Grandma Helen. Over the years Grandpa worked many different jobs, but his primary income was as a fisherman. They had two sons, five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Sadly, last year Grandma Helen passed away. Grandpa misses her very much, but he stays active and remains involved with all in the family. His younger brother, Teino, lives in Olympia.

10 Facts about Grandpa:
1. His 2nd and 3rd toes are "webbed" about 1/3 up.
2. The end of his left index finger was pulled off in an industrial accident. He has fun playing jokes with his missing finger and this is an endless source of fascination for all under the age of 10.
3. He and Grandma wintered in Desert Hot Springs for over 30 years.
4. Favorite past times include golfing and fishing.
5. He is extremely superstitious, especially regarding Friday the 13th. Not surprising considering one of his boats, The Gail, was struck by a cargo ship on Friday the 13th. Luckily nobody was seriously injured and all were rescued.
6. Grandpa can build or fix just about anything ever made and he loves working with wood.
7. Grandpa still fishes and digs razor clams.
8. He's an avid reader.
9. He calls everyone in the family on their birthdays and sings "Happy Birthday" to them.
10. He's my last surviving grandparent.


Blogger Yarn Coffee said...

Your Grandfather sounds like a wonderful man. We should all be so lucky to have such a wonderful spirit around us. Happy Birthday to him!

9:22 AM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Happy Birthday Grandpa!!! How wonderful to have a cherished grandfather to know and love (and a great grandpa for your girls).

10:32 AM  
Blogger Merrie Cuylter said...

Happy Birthday Grampa Porgy! Your story makes me miss my Grandparents all the more! I never met either of my bio-grandpas, so I'm jealous (but very happy for you) that you have that connection. Wish him a happy b-day from me! Love, Karen

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment over on my blog. Marilyn says Travis is in very good spirits and will be traveling to Walter Reed last night or today. "They tried to kill me but they couldn't" he says. Amazing! Let's get them all home...

8:15 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

What a blessing he is!!! I wish all older people would write books about thier lives. I feel like everytime we loose a grandparent - its like loosing a library, they have SO much knowledge....


8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He sounds wonderful!

Here's wishing him a HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

10:35 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

Best wishes to your Grandpa for a year of health and happiness.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Jeff - WeinerToons said...

Happy Birthday Grandpa Porgy (I hope you're sharing all the birthday wishes with him)!


Does your grandpa "over-share" with the family like mine does? My grandfather (87 yrs) was telling us a story about a woman he was really interested in and made some comment, "I can't even get a tumble..." or something like that. Makes me laugh and at the same time wonder what exactly he meant by that. Thought it was appropriate to share a grandpa story here!

10:27 PM  

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