There is something unique in knowing what one wants to do as an adult from childhood. My Grandfather Short was one of those unique people.
I dig into my family archives as I do from time to time to restore old photo & slides and came up with these for a Throwback Thursday posting. Thomas Arthur Short is my Grandfather and Geraldine S. is my Grandmother here. Both are no longer with us, however their strong powerful existence still wanders through me, in particular Grandpa’s. He knew exactly what he wanted even as a child obviously by the above photograph. He worked hard and consistently to achieve those goals throughout his life, as I tend to believe that generation did naturally.
The Short family (which is my Grandfathers side) is a line of boatmen, or yachtsmen, depending on what you preferred to sail. Grandpa relied on both terms but preferred “yachtsman”. As a young man he was a Merchant Marine, then when he left the service he moved into opening up his own marine engineering business TASCO. Being head of the family he took no bull and was very gruff indeed most of the time, which made him a great business man for the day. He had a knack of separating business from pleasure with perfection. However…
Sailing (or yachting as he would say) was his bliss. He absolutely loved it. This was his pleasure. Being Commodore of the St. Francis Yacht Club a couple of times and a Senior founding member of it’s vintage history, he regarded it as “Church”. Included in that history was the Transpac Race which he was a huge part of and sailed it religiously. Something he not only was proud to do, but “needed” to do as part of being “who he was”.
Acting was also included in that realm at the “Club”. He got a kick out of it.
He enjoyed and had close friends such as Humphrey Bogart and Johnny Weissmuller (the original Tarzan), who were also fellow yachtsmen who sailed together often. I remember both my Grandparents referring to Lauren Bacall as “Betty” in conversations, and she in turn called him “Captain Pete” (a nickname of his). Oh and yes, they all did like their drink at the “Club”. That is where the comradery was and that was where their souls existed. She with the ladies and he with the guys talking up sailing stories. Oh to be a fly on those walls! He loved his dominoes and playing that game at the Club was his zen. I still have his dominoes and last I knew, they held a yearly tournament in his name. Will have to check on that.
According to my Grandmother, Grandpa did not like women on his boat. The “Club” at that time was also not an “equal” ground to stand on if you were a woman. So the photograph below just floors me in laughter. Seeing my Grandmother with her legs up in a relaxed joker kind of way smiling at my grandfather in the galley doing the dishes, is certainly ironic, although that grin on her face looks very loving…which she was. She was a volunteer at the San Francisco Hospital just about up and until the day her Alzheimer’s became more pronounced. She always tried to get me to be a Candy Striper, but I could not stand the sight of blood. Big fail on my part, because she was absolutely a huge giver of time and that is certainly something she never thought twice about. She walked to work daily from their apartment.
To this day, I know if it wasn’t for these two I would not be who I am today. I fought the system and did my own thing for many years, so having said that I can be accountable for “me”. I have my own tales to tell. However they are the ones who introduced me to my business and daily living senses and taught me how to integrate that into life. All that combined made these two great mentors. Realistically, Grandpa made it all happen though. He was the savvy one to say the least. The Bull…just look at that face. I remember him saying: Spend little and save more. Makes sense and I live by that now. Thank you Grandpa! Thanks for those tix to The Beatles circa 1964 Cow Palace too.
Thanks for stopping in. Til next time…