Friday, March 6, 2015

Swingin' High and Movin' On

There’s something very special about being able to spend extra time with your grandparents. My parents were retired by the time my youngest son was entering his teen years. He was too young drive, but young enough to stay alone, which meant his days would have been spent locked up at home playing video games, watching television, and eating junk all day. Instead, my parents invited him to their home in Albany Georgia and provided so many learning opportunities, lessons of patience for all, and invaluable memories that will never be forgotten. 

His grandmother had a membership at the YMCA; she would take Zach to the pool with her several 
times a week and would in the end, teach him to both swim and dive. He would learn to swim so well, and with such endurance, that at the end of that summer he was able to swim-lap two miles without stopping.

They would find a blue hole in Wacissa, Florida that held a plank/stand and a rope. It would be
awhile before Zach was brave enough to swing and jump, but after several visits of packing picnic items and watching others swing and jump – he would finally do it and never looked back.
One of those summers his granddaddy bought a canoe and he and Zach would find every lake, blue hole and river to row for miles around, in both Georgia and Florida. They took many trips trying to build their endurance and excel their rowing abilities. One of the last trips they made, they rowed Lake Chehaw up to Muckalee Creek and back again for a total of nine miles.

There was a piano in their home, and his grandmother would teach him enough that he could master
the electric piano they bought him as his going away gift at the end of that summer. 

His granddaddy also began teaching him about stocks and bonds during those early teen summer stays. They helped him buy stock in his name, and for years they would contribute to that stock for every A -grade he made in school. By the time he was 18 years old, he was contributing himself, reading his quarterly statements on his own, and watching his funds grow.

My mother often tells a story involving my grandfather, Zach’s great grandfather, who was still living at the time. When Zach was about three years old he was walking from the back of my parents’ house to the front, and as he rounded the corner of the house my grandfather said to my mother “Have you ever noticed how Zach walks?” And my mother replied “Do you mean how he walks with such authority?” And he replied back, “Well, I was just getting ready to say, he either walks like he owns this place, or he’s fixing to buy it.”

Zach will be 20 years old this week, and he still walks just like that; with authority and ease, and like he just bought the joint and closed the deal of a lifetime. I imagine he always will. 


  1. Great pictures and even greater stories of your family. I've known your parents, David and Jean for over 35 years and they remain our best friends. I can remember David telling me stories about both your sons. One in particular was about the "would be weather man". Your son loved watching the weather channel and forecasted a flood for Albany. Well it happened and David said you had to stop him from watching the weather channel. He said that Zach was the athlete in the family and that he reminded him of me. At one time(before age stepped in) I was a pretty good baseball player, football player and not so good a basketball player. Michelle, you are truly blessed to have a great mom and dad. Then the Lord blessed you even more with two great sons. God bless you and your family.
    Tommy Vaughn

  2. Mr. Tommy - I and my boys were indeed blessed with the two people that would give them as much attention and love as I would as their parent. They took them on their vacations and kept them during the summers; exposing them to history, the fun of learning, life and more love than you could imagine. Both of my children are definitely story-telling worthy; both of them so different, but both filled with so much humor that life is definitely more enjoyable with them in it. I have heard my parents speak fondly of you many times, thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with me today, it truly means a lot.