Sunday, April 25, 2010

Papaw pt 2

These are some of the things that I remember about my Papaw, Stanley Douglas Setzer Senior.
He smelled like Skoal tobacco and aftershave. I don't remember the brand of aftershave but I remember the smell. Before he shaved, his whiskers scratched. He was a huge believer in the medicinal properties of Campho- phenique and would apply it liberally to all wounds, when he didn’t use methiolate as an antiseptic.

He kept a big deep overstuffed armchair that he sat in to watch "Truth or Consequences" and "The NBC Nightly News" with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. You had to keep quiet during the news, especially when they talked about the war in Viet Nam. Particularly during the year my father and the uncles were all out of country at the same time. It was during that time that I heard him utter one small truth that has stayed with me since. At some point, the newscaster announced the total of casualties, and Papaw stated that the number of Americans killed in action was probably higher and the numbers of Vietnamese killed was probably lower. My Mamaw was quick to hush him because of the children in the room. But that idea stayed with me.

On Friday nights he would take my Mamaw to the grocery store and sometimes I would go along. I don't remember if we went to the A&P or a Piggly Wiggly or some other long gone chain. I do remember standing beside him while he ground whole coffee beans and holding the bag to catch the warm freshly ground coffee. That smell brings him back to me to this very day. My mother remembers him bringing home fresh crab cakes for everyone some Fridays.

He liked black licorice and would send us to the corner for a few cents worth of black licorice for himself and a little red for us to share among ourselves.

At one point he drove a Jaguar sedan with a minature jaguar hood ornament. And he always had a great big male cat with the ingenius name of Tom. The house in Emigsville had several cats and Papaw would explain how to hold and pet the cat to make it purr loudly.

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