George Dale Smith was my grandfather. He was married to my Nanny, Joyce, and he was my father's father. We used to call him Pop. I don't talk much about him. Some of the memories are painful. But some are funny.
Pop was an alcoholic. He died very young but looked 100 years old. He died in the hospital and left my grandmother a young widow. She never remarried. Never even went out on a date.
Pop didn't always drink. He had very bad stomach ulcers and any alcohol would leave him in great pain. Until the doctors found some miracle medicine that he started taking and he found this meant he could drink. That wasn't good.
He went into rehab loads of times. But it never stuck.
We would enter my grandparent's home and he had this green recliner chair that sat in the corner of the living room. I never saw him drinking. He always had a cup of coffee and a rollup cigarette. But you could tell from his glossy bloodshot eyes if he was drunk.
He couldn't keep a job. He did loads of different things. The one job I remember him having was as a bus driver. I always wondered how an alcoholic could also be a bus driver.
Pop always had crazy ideas on how to solve various problems like the time he decide that using dynamite in the outhouse would clear out the sewage blockage. Instead the lane leading up to the house was covered in poo and toilet paper that had blown up rather than down as was the desired outcome.
Pop always made me laugh. He died my senior year in high school. He was the first of my immediate family to die in my living memory. He is buried in the crypt next to my grandmother. I smile every time I remember him. And that green chair.