Grandfather’s story

I have just finished reading a book written by my Grandfather and published in 1941. Amazingly it is still available through various places like Amazon (one copy for 82 cents). It is called Pardon My Harvard Accent. His name is William Gibbons Morse.

My Grandfather did go to Harvard but in the book he writes about all the things he did after graduating from Harvard in 1898 and eventually returning to Harvard as the first purchasing agent for the college.

I remember my grandfather. As a teenager,  or just barely, we visited him in his apartment in NYC. In his book he writes of New York as a village, playing in the streets that today would be filled with traffic. It is hard to imagine the city as it was then. We were there not long ago, riding in a taxi to a hotel.  I was reminded that I much prefer small towns and am even more content to live in Bellingham.

I did not know of his various jobs before he returned to Harvard. I remember a man who would arrive at the Cape and settle into the room which we always called Grandpa’s room. It was the one room with his own bathroom and many cupboards for his stuff. It had a balcony facing the water so he could sit there with his binoculars watching the activity on the water. After all, he built the house. He should have his own room.

Grandpa was always fun. He would settle into his Morris chair after dinner and tell stories. He was a good story teller. His tales would go long into the evening after I was sent to bed. My room was over the living room in my younger years, and I could hear the laughter and, sometimes, the stories until it be came softer, soon to be followed by great laughter. I understood that the soft part, I was not supposed to hear. Had I been in the room, Momie would have spirited the children away and taken them to the den to read to them before bed time.

I write this because I have now started this blog. This will be the version my children, grandchildren, and who knows who else will read of my life. I have learned much about my grandfather that I did now know in the years I knew him. He was a hard worker, honest, as well as a great story teller. He had many talents in many fields. His occasional mention of my dad and his sisters tells me a bit about them long before I knew them. His father was a school teacher in NYC. I recognize traits in myself that come from these older generations. What will my grandchildren and others remember about me from my writing? Time will tell. It is interesting to be a part of this kind of modern book writing.

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2 Responses to Grandfather’s story

  1. Linda Baie says:

    I love that you can still find this book. What a good story you’ve told yourself; it must run in the family! I’ve always enjoyed the stories you’ve told in this past year and imagine this writing will be a treasure for your children and grandchildren just as you enjoyed this book. Thank you for sharing this, and the wonderful photo!

  2. Wendi says:

    I can just see the Morris chair (which I’ve always wanted) and hear the laughter through the floor after you’d gone to bed. What a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing this piece of history!

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