It got me to thinking about guns and the guns he carries. He has his duty weapon that is given to him by his employer and he has his back up weapon that was given to him by my grandpa. I hope you can put up with me and a minute of reminiscing ...
My great-grandpa worked for the Youngstown, Ohio police department. I honestly don't know very much about him or his time there; my grandparents eloped and moved out West and my understanding is that my great-grandpa was a fairly angry and abusive sort of man. We never saw him much; I only remember him coming out to visit us one time (although I'm sure he did more than that) and my mom, although she loved, didn't like him very much. She told me when they would visit him he would spank them. "Not something that grandpa's are supposed to do." Great-grandpa was a police officer first and then was promoted to detective. I'm pretty sure when he retired he was still a detective. I've also been told he was a crooked cop, although that isn't a question I'm willing to ask my grandpa about and a story I'd rather believe was fabricated but I don't know if anyone except my great-grandpa would know the true answer to that one.
Officer Hottie graduated from police academy in February of 2006. Shortly after his graduation we were visiting my grandparents when my grandpa said he had something he wanted to give OH and left the room. He returned with a Smith & Wesson 38 Chief's special. My grandma's eyes just about popped out of her head. "Put that thing away Frank! You're going to hurt somebody!" She was genuinely shaking at the sight of it. OH, on the other hand, had wide eyes for another reason. On the handle of the gun there is a little plaque inscribed with my great-grandpa's name and his position in the department, and his years of service.
Grandpa said, "I want you to have this. You need it more than I do."
OH replied, with tears in his eyes, "Are you serious? Isn't there someone else you should give this to?"
Grandpa "My son-in-laws have been trying to get that from me for years. You're the only one who needs it."
Hottie quickly put it away since my grandma was near hysterics (he's respectful like that) but when we got home he couldn't stop looking at it. I was so amazed too ... my grandpa giving his granddaughter's husband something that carries so much emotional weight ... it was a pretty cool thing.
My grandpa told me that that gun had saved his father's life more than once. The one story that really sticks out is that my great-grandpa was fighting with a suspect and somehow the suspect got a hold of his gun and put it to his head. My great-grandpa managed to put his finger behind the trigger so it couldn't be fired. Maybe that story is elaborated a little bit. Maybe not. Either way it's a good story and one OH tells when people ask about the gun.
With all the stuff I don't know about my grandparents families I am thankful for the gift my great-grandpa left for my husband. I am hopeful that one day it can be passed onto one of our son's.
And now that we're out of debt, thank you Dave Ramsey, we can finally afford to get OH an off-duty weapon that he will really enjoy and put the heirloom in a glass case and put it on display. I wonder how it would look next to the box of diapers? Hmm...maybe Veggie Tales DVD's? ... guess I'll have to put a little more thought into that.
In trying to find a picture of my great grandpa I came across these pictures that my grandpa had put on his blog. Yes, my grandpa blogs. It is actually a memorial site for my grandma, and he posts in the "guest comments" quite a bit. It's been a great way to learn stories and a good way for him to process. Anyway, here you go ...
My grandpa and grandma.
I'm pretty sure this is a picture of my grandpa's side of the family. I know my grandma is the one holding a baby and my grandpa is the one next to her, on the left. My great-grandpa is the one to the right of my grandma and my great-grandma is the one kneeling behind the children.
Great grandpa with his great grand children. My baby brothers look about 2-ish in this picture so it was taken a good 23 years ago. There's a lot of great grandkids missing!
I couldn't help but include this picture of my grandma and Snuggles when he was about 2 years old. How sweet is this?