Once upon a time … In the late 1970s, my enthusiasm for CB radios led me to meet an amazing couple whose CB handles were the Railroad Man and the Railroad Woman. Over time, they became Grandma and Papa to me, even though we were not biologically related in any way.
Grandma and Papa Hedberg were the epitome of “love.” After more than 50 years of marriage, they still smooched when he went out the door to run errands; and they held hands wherever they went. Even though I only lived a little ways away from their modest home, on weekends I would show up at the door and say, “I’ve got a nightgown, have you got a bed?” I often spent the night, with Papa teaching me the intricacies of playing pool (he played billiards for a “living” for awhile after he finished his military service years).
When Papa died, it left a big hole in my life and a much bigger one in Grandma’s day to day existence. I never knew for sure if he had a personal relationship with Christ, but God knows; and perhaps I will see him again one fine day. Papa’s ashes were scattered in the area of Swan Falls Dam, where I spent many a weekend fishing for sturgeon long ago and far away. The poem, Eulogy for Papa speaks to my appreciation of both his character and the relationship the two of them shared.
It has been more than 35 years since I was last at Swan Falls Dam. It might be near time for a visit.