So, what was Evan, Arlo and the Goose doing during Oscar and Mama's big trip?
Watching lots of Totoro.
Oscar and I got in a good night's sleep and went to my grandpa's memorial service. My grandpa was a complicated man who lived through many lifetimes. He inherited the family business, a company which manufactured "Honor-Bilt" commercial stainless steel kitchens and display cases. They could be found in Woolworth's and lots of local soda joints.
A big part of his life was being a Shriner/Mason. The Masons came and performed a short but lovely memorial service before the main memorial.
My dad gave a gorgeous, informative and loving eulogy about his father-in-law. My aunt and uncle did as well. And a member of the German family that they sponsored, along with their church, to come to American after WW2 spoke with great affection and much indebtedness about my grandparents. Another member of the family spoke at my grandma's memorial 18 months earlier. I had no idea that my grandparents had sponsored this family and set them up with jobs and a home. I had a great time chatting with the family after the service.
My grandfather loved the Masons almost as much as he loved bolo ties. Oscar inherited and wore the bolo tie Grandpa wore in the funeral card (again, I had pictures, but they were lost with my phone).
My grandpa was a keeper. Some might say horder. He bought every as-seen-on-TV gadget, subscribed to every record club. My dad collected a bunch of trinkets and put them out in a box for folks to take in memory of him. These are a few I filched for my family.
A key to a post office box at Grand Central. How romantic is that?
A key to the Playboy club. My dad has a good story about this key, maybe he'll do a guest post?
An ivory penknife he inscribed with his name. He had his mother's maiden name as his middle name, just like my dad and just like all three of my kids.
I wore this small trinket at the memorial; a necklace made by my girlfriend Carrie. She gave it to me at the brunch the day before. I got a lot of compliments.
We went back to the hotel and Oscar and I had a lovely swim with my folks. We got dressed and went out for a raucous (for a bunch of Upstate New York Lutherans) dinner in honor of my grandpa. Oscar was charming and perfectly behaved; I had a couple of martinis and got to chat with my brother and my baby cousin. Great times.
The next day Oscar and I joined my folks for a trip to the Strong Museum. which I have been going to for 30 years and gets more accessible and more interesting every time we go. This time it was a Star Wars weekend and the 501st Legion was there.
Oscar scaled a couple walls and saved the day.
And then we made it up to the video game section. The Strong partnered with Microsoft and Google and created the Video Game Hall of Fame. And Oscar played Frogger, and Ms. Pac-Man, and Fruit Ninja, and Food Fight, and Tron, and he was in heaven. The arcade sells 6 tokens for a buck, each game costs one token, and all the money goes into retrofitting and maintaining the old games.
Oscar and I spent the night at my baby cousin Kaeti's house and we plotted out the paper stuff for her upcoming wedding to her young man. Oscar loved having two grown-ups that loved talking Wii games with him and really loved their pet bunnies.
Oscar and I had a good night's sleep in Kaeti and George's guest room and had a great diner breakfast down the street. My Aunt Dot showed up and they dropped us off at the Rochester airport.
When you pass through security in Rochester airport, you see the International Clock. I grew up seeing this clock at the big mall in Rochester where we saw Santa every year -- think the Santa scene in a Christmas Story.
Oscar and I had a short flight to JFK, a lovely dinner at the Jet Blue terminal (where I lost my phone) and made it home to Burbank in record time.