Grandpa

The greatest man I ever knew

Lived at 414 Richmond Avenue.

LaGrange Park, IL was the town

Where this man so world renown

In the beautiful ballroom would entertain

When he wasn’t driving the Sante Fe Train.

He would play the guitar and he would sing.

When he tickled the ivories, he made them ring.

Friends and family would gather around

Just so they could hear the sound

Of the piano playing and the songs he sung.

I’d sit right by him, I was so young.

I was amazed and perhaps in awe

Of this great man, Harry Roland, my grandpa.

Sometimes he’d do little magic tricks,

I’d watch real close because he was quick.

Then I’d look at him and say

“Grandpa, how’d you do that anyway?”

And, of course, he wouldn’t tell,

Not wanting to break his magic spell.

He loved entertaining everyone.

He was so cool and so much fun.

I remember we went for ice cream one day,

We stopped at the bank along the way.

The teller said she’d like one too,

So he dropped her ice cream at the drive thru.

I guess, at heart, he was a big kid

Who enjoyed life and all he did.

But grandpa was also very wise.

I could always go to him for advice.

He lived life to the fullest, right up to the end.

He was my hero, confidant, friend.

Then one day my grandpa was gone.

He’d played his last tune, sung his last song.

He was very unique in his own way

And I love and miss him still to this day.

I carry his memory deep in my heart,

So we’ll never be truly apart.

And if I close my eyes I can see

Grandpa at the piano, singing to me.

Written by Taffy OKelly 5-17-1999

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My Ghosts in a Mansion Dream

I am in a beautiful old mansion with some of my family.  It has beautiful huge rooms.  The rooms that stand out to me the most are a formal setting room, with 3 huge, beautiful windows (the kind that have the built in cushioned benches covered in red), a fireplace, and a lovely ornate chandelier.  The view from the windows is of a hospital.  There is also the room with a grand piano, a formal dining room, a guest bedroom that is split into 2 sections, and another room that is somewhat like a bar/lounge.  It consists of round tables, comfy seating, a bar and a jukebox.  I start out in the setting room, showing the family around, then on to the dining room and the piano room.  Suddenly, someone says they hear a noise coming out of the guest bedroom.

I enter the guest bedroom, which as I said, consists of 2 sections…a “living” area of the bedroom if you will (couch, chair, etc) and then the actual bedroom part is thru a doorway.  I go to the doorway, and hear children.  Funny thing is there are no children in the house at that time.  Suddenly, I hear a little voice…he said his name was Nathan.  He told me he was a spirit and had died in the house many many centuries ago, and wanted me to see him.  He was on the bed, cute as can be…a toe headed blonde boy who looked to be about 5 or 6 years old.  He had friends he said, and they were all nice kids.  But, he said to be careful of the ones in the lounge area.  They were older and sometimes not very nice.

I move into the lounge area room, where I did have the encounter with the older and sometimes not very nice spirits.  (There were about 4 or 5 of them.) Turns out they were not evil spirits, or mean, just ornery.  They liked to play tricks to “scare” people they said.  I informed them I was entertaining folks and we were going to use that room, so to try and be on their best behavior.

Well, the company is enjoying their snacks and drinks, and the ornery spirits are being quiet….but when I went to take a drink of my cocktail, my straw did not work.  I pulled it out and it had been tied in a knot at the bottom.  I heard a little laughing sound….those ornery ones decided to prank me.  “Oh, really funny!”  I said…and the funny thing was, it was funny and I ended up laughing with them.