When my brother was born my granddaddy passed out cigars at the local high school basketball game. He had raised five daughters and I was the first born grandchild so it was a big day for him, like he had accomplished something. Grandads act like that, because they can.

My mom’s parents lived in a tiny town on a dirt road with a pasture and a creek behind the house. They always had dogs and chickens and an occasional horse or cow. When I went to visit I got to go barefoot outside and make mud pies in the dirt. I rode in the back of Granddaddy’s pickup truck when we went to town which was probably five city blocks away. He’d give me a nickel to spend on candy and wink like it was our secret. He knew my dad didn’t buy me candy because dentists just didn’t do that.

My dad’s parents lived in another state when I was a kid, so I didn’t see them as often. My Grandpa was a school superintendent for years and when he came to visit he brought new pencils and writing tablets and erasers. I thought I was the only one of his gaggle of grandkids that was special. Grandpas know how to make granddaughters feel like a princess.

Now Jim Brawner has seven grandkids who each think they are the most special. Big, short for Big Daddy, has four boys for his buddies but the girls melt his heart. Because that’s what granddaughters do.


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