Saturday, September 11, 2010

0020 - golfing

When I went to golf with my grandpa, a good while back, we went to the golf course he usually golfed at. Going along in his little truck. he then shed me around. we went to the driving range. Then we golfed the back 9. He tried to help me golf a little better. I'm stubborn so I didn't want to learn at the time. But he tried his best. He beet me easily, and I was happy to just have gotten out with him. he showed me in the clubhouse, then we went home for supper.
My grandma is not the biggest fan of his golf buddies. I think it is just the fact that they are retired, but get up early and treat the game like a job. Hey guys, your supposed to be retired. lol That, and that she really didn't get to know some of them.

0019 - Fort Steel

I remember going on trips with my grandparents to Fort Steel. Apparently my great grandfather was a tin smith there.
I loved, and still do love, the Candy shop. Mmmm Rum Butter Candy Sticks.
We went there for Easter once, and have seen the Live stag show a few times. There are performers on the street reenacting a scene from the era. If you are in the right places at the right times, you can get the whole story. Since My grandpa worked security there, when we went to the stage show, he was a natural to be the volunteer pulled up on stage. He was a bit of a cad, knowing the routine and all. I think my grandma felt he was a little over the top. It was fun.

When I brought Michelle to Cranbrook. I think it was the summer before we got married. I think...
anyways, we got to see the whole place, and all of the animals. I don't think I had ever gone to see the animals as much prior. Michelle's Cute when she sees farm animals. Little kid joy in a grown up form. I love it.
When we went through the exhibits Grandpa looked to see if anything had changed. I think they had added a few items.

0018 - telegraph & back to school.

When My Grandpa worked for the school, he went back to school. He hadn't graduated from high school when he was younger, because in those days, you could start your career earlier, and be on your way. My Grandpa became a telegraph operator for Canada Pacific Rail. I believe he was only 14. I found that out at his funeral.
anyways, back to the school part. He went back to school, fitting in the classes here and there, until he hit the wall. I am very proud of my grandpa, to have gone back, and done so well. he managed to get almost everything for his Diploma. He was only missing his Grade 12 Math. I believe he took it. But math can be hard, especially when it's been 50 years or more since you took the class. And as my Grandpa has proved from his life: you don't actually need the things you learn in todays math Grade 12.
My Grandpa has always made me proud.


When my grandpa worked as a custodian at one of the schools, while I was there to visit, I got to go to work with him one day. He showed me how the floor polisher worked, and he cleaned some of the hall, and a staircase while I watched. You soak it, the machine scrubs it, then you suck the water up. It's kind of cool. I got a lot of my really cool pens and mechanical pencils from grandpa.


My Grandpa taught me to play badnimton.
at first it was without a net. then came the net.
after maybe 2 years, on a grumpy day I ruined it by smashing the wooden racket onto the ground. Me being a brat, just not wanting to play at the time. I feel bad for doing that. I don't think I meant to break the racket, but that doesn't fix it. We didn't play as much badminton after that.

in their back yard, there was also Lawn Darts. The Metal ones that could take some parts out of you. I can see why they don't make them like that any more. We never hurt ourselves, but I can see how others may have.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

0015 - Union Worker

I am not sure if this is from when he worked for the Parks (Fort Steel) or for the schools.

0014 - Drivers Licence

I do not have many photos of my grandfather, but here is one that was in his desk.

0013 - Eagles Member

My Grandpa was a member of the Fraternal order of Eagles.
If in 1976 he had a 15 year sticker, he joined in 1961, or earlier.
and if he has a 45 year in 2010, that puts it back to 1960.
Since my dad has diabetes, and the Eagles support it a a charity, they might have something to do with each other, but I'm not going to push that theory.

This card was used to help give the membership card a little more substance when placed together in their plastic sleeve.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


About my Grandfather:
Born in the northern half of Saskatchewan. The 10th of 13 children. young enough that he never really knew some of them. I believe he still has a sister who's still around.
During WWII he was in the military,(i think) but he never left the country. I remember as we went through Medicine Hat's museum one time, he looked at the german helmet, and the old flight trainer. He said they tested guys in that device, to see if they could fly by the gauges, because you could't see out of it. Testing to see if one could fly at night. It looked kind of like a mechanical bull, but instead of sitting on it, you were inside of it. He didn't ace that one, so he didn't get to fly. But flying just means your that much closer to being shot at, so I'm glad he didn't. (when I look at the dates, I'm not sure my Grandpa was quite old enough go to into the war before it was over. but that doesn't refute any millitary service).  

He worked for the railroad, Telegraph operator, and probable a few other things. When my father was born, him and my grandma Lived in Moyie, in a small house by the tracks. I think that was for only about a year. Then they moved into the house next door to my Great Grand parents (Grandma's Side)  Kathryn (Nana) M. Armstrong, and (Pop)Howard Armstrong.
There, they took the top level off of the house and gave it a new roof. They lived there, together, for the rest of his years. It's the home where my father grew up. and where I had the pleasure of doing a few days and weeks at a time for my growing up.
When I was a kid, My grandfather:
Taught me how to play checkers and how to play Cribbage, and badminton, and how to work the Commodore 64. He has an electric race-car track set-up in the basement, that was a lot of fun.
there's also a wooden sword he made, that I liked.
He played baseball until my early teens, until his joints got a little to soar.
I am not sure how old I was, but when I was young, one summer, me and my grandfather pulled all of his bottles and cans out of the shed to be sorted. It took us all day. Back then you had to sort them into pepsi and coke piles, because you didn't get as much back if you took them to the wrong one. once you were there, you sorted them into flats of the same size. then they gave you what it was worth.

I had a lot of fun doing that with him. The next year we did the same thing. He had a little cart that he pulled behind his bicycle, and when he saw a can he would pick-it up and throw it in. So when it cam summer, and time to sort the cans, he had so many, it completely filled that little shed. It was great spending the time with my grandpa.  After we sorted, and took the cans in, he gave me the money for them. I think he said "Money for the summer". but I didn't really understand. I didn't do it for the money, I did it to spend the time with him. And I guess that's why he did it too. So we could do it together. I'm going to miss getting to do things with him.

He worked a good while as security for Fort Steel Park. So that meant he wasn't always at home, or wasn't awake, when I was there. But it sure did make him a great tour guide it you went through the park. He knew the performers, so he was a little more than willing to be pulled up on stage durring the park's live theater performance. I think it embarrassed my grandma a little. 
Mmmm, old time candy sticks from the heritage town candy store (rum-butter it the best).
When it came the age where he had to retire from that job, he became Custodian/Janitor at the local High School. He took me with him one day. It was kind of interesting. I got a lot of cool mechanical pencils, pens, and the likes out of that. I like fancy mechanical pencils. maybe to much. Then he showed me, and let me try, as he buffed the floors. When he worked there, he went back to school. He never finished high school as a kid. being a farm kid and all, it was not all that unusual. But when he went back, it was awesome. He managed to complete everything but his math. I don't blame him. having probably 50 years since his last math class, I applaud him. I don't think I could do high school math anymore either. I know he passed every class but that one. I guess that goes to show you really don't need high school math, unless your going to be an engineer. 

When He finally retired, he played Golf, and Curling.  He got really good at golf. I don't think I ever could be. I admired that he still did those kind of thing in his later years. I hope I can live long enough to do something like it.
I looked up to my grandfather, and I still do.
in 2005 we celebrated my grandparent's 50th Anniversary.
when I went there last, his room in the basement, the one full of amazing tools and electronics from a different era, was a little bit empty. He didn't have his Shortwave Radio, or Moris code equipment set up anymore. it was gone. We talked about some things, like my dad's truck. I like my dad't truck. I think he wanted to work in there to ask if I wanted his truck. I think I steered away from it. not because I wouldn't use it, but because I din't want to acknowledge his mortality. It seemed a little like he was trying to give thing away. All I wanted was for him to know that I love him.
The last time we visited I went with him as he went for chemo therapy. I can't say it was the most interesting thing to do, or that we has tones of stuff to talk about the whole way through. But I am glad I got to spend that time with him.
If we ever have children, it makes me very very sad that they will never get to meet him.
In the basement, next to his engraving tool, he had a set of token medals that marked all of his "hole-in-one"s. I have that, and the contents of his desk drawer. I thought that if they were important enough to keep in the desk like that, they would be important enough to preserve.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Commodore 64
My grandpa had one in the basement. and when ever we went over, I got to play a few of the games he had. My favorite was King Tut's Tomb. it was kind of like pac-man. only the levels changed every time you finished one, and you were a little man, running from the snakes, until you had a sword. then you chased them, until the sword buff wore off.

Tutankham took the King Tut theme and wrapped it up into an interesting tunnel-crawler. While the game's basic game play design was nothing terribly revolutionary, the way your character was controlled was quite interesting. You could move around the tombs in all 4 directions, but you could only fire to the left or right, leaving the up and down directions vulnerable to enemy attacks. This required careful planning and maneuvering if you wanted to successfully complete each level. Your goal was to loot as many treasures as you could find and then locate the key and locked door to proceed on to the next tomb. The gradual climb in difficulty made the game quite challenging in later levels, but addictive nonetheless.
description source:

my other favourite was Ghostbusters. who wouldn't love that.
First you moved around on the map to get to the places with the ghosts.
Then the car drove there. don't remember if you had to do anything for this part.

Then you zap the ghost with your beams, and caught him in the trap.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Have you ever seen a kid playing with a wooden sword. one that might have started out as a 2 by 4, or the likes. My Grandpa had one in the basement. I thought it was so cool. I'm not sure id he made it to be played with, or just because he though it was cool too. My friend Michael growing up, him and his brother had sci-fi looking machine guns that started out as a 2 by 8. no moving parts, but 100% cool. mark that on the list of things I should build some day.


When many were growing up, they had, saw, or had the pleasure of playing with Electric Race Car Tracks. My Grandpa Had one set-up in the basement. There were screws, and little pieces that held it in place, so that when it wasn't in use, it could be flipped up, and out of the way, like a murphy bed.
Photos are examples only.


When I was young, and was at my grandparents, sometimes my grandpa would read me bedtime stories.
Him, or my dad. When it was my Grandpa it would be "Fury, Stallion of the Broken Wheel Ranch" or one of the books in that series. or it would be Sam and Pat. I think it was called that anyways. They were dogs, that stood like people. one was tall, and one was short, one had a green shirt, and the other had red. I enjoyed those moments.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I am scanning many of my grandpa's things. The things I found in the drawer of his desk. having had the opportunity to look through them now, I wish I had grabbed one or two things off of the wall as well.
on one sheet, posted on the wall, he had everyone's birthdays, my mom, dad, grandma... he even had Michelle and I's Anniversary. I like knowing that he cared.
Also upon the wall were the certificates for his telegraph training, and other items. I managed to grab a few things, and i hope my grandma doesn't clear out to much of it. If I could I would have taken her whole basement, because I can't bring him back, but I don't want to lose a single memory of him. I guess that's how being a hoarder can start. based upon my amassment of sketchbooks and art supplies, I may not be far off from that.
I don't expect to get back to Cranbrook for quite a while...
but we'll try.


My Grandma. She said herself that she has not cried yet. We all deal in different ways, and on different time lines. She has also had the opportunity to see the facts in front of her. Time will tell. I just hope that she can be well, and still be happy.
I do worry about her more now. But I am glad that she is still staying in their house. It's a place she knows, and feels comfortable. even with her eyes going, I expect she will be able to find everything there.
Just as people will be able to find her. We don't want here to be disjointed from access to the people who genuinely care for her. An assisted living home seems like such a depressing place to be. By doing everything for you, they remove some people's reason to get started in the morning. Trailing off to a slow disappearance into the shadows of minds. I would like my grandmother to have every reason to be alive. i love here.
Her having an emergency alert like thing on her, can give some comfort to us and her. Her having gotten it before my grandpa's passing, I think gave him a little comfort in the face of knowing the inevitable would some day come. I think she will be OK, and I hope so too.

I think, at some points, we all expected him to live forever.


I don't remember how I found out about my grandfather having a heart attack. The first one. The one that as about 2 weeks before. was it 2 weeks? I know I meant to phone, see how he was, wish him my best. The work week has a way of whisking ones mind into a flurry or haze. Time passing so quickly. It seemed like only a week and a half from the beginning of july, to the end of it. August has passed just the same.
I remember talking to my grandmother about it. seeing how he was. Grandma kinda clued me in, in her subtle ways, that his cancer had progressed, and he was likely not going to take the next treatment.
We were thinking of arranging a trip to see them over the labour day weekend, or the week after that. Not long down the line. But alas, not soon enough.
he had a second heart attack, two week later. maybe just not taking it easy enough after the first one. Maybe the cancer simply wore him down. maybe maybe maybe. speculation does not change the fact that all we are left with is memories. I hope by putting all I can here, that by someone reading this, that he can live just a little longer.


The last time I saw my grandfather, I began the process of realizing my grandfather would not be there forever. That he may not even be here for long.
The last time I visited my grandpa, we went to the hospital for his cancer treatment. It was a quiet place. I tried to talk with him. I enjoyed it. But there were moments where I felt the quiet permeating into our conversation. The quiet from between the beats of our hearts. The quiet of the truth of his illness.
I surely did not want to admit to any possibility that the treatment might not work.
I don't think I ever told him enough that I loved him. Do we ever tell the ones that we love often enough? I'm sure we could tell them every chance we get, and still feel like it wasn't enough. We can tell them when we remember to, and hope that they know in their hearts.


My Grandpa taught me to play
to play Checkers
to play Cribbage
to play Badminton
to play with electric track race cars
to Enjoy the time spent with the ones you love.
He could have taught me to play golf, If I had let him. But I don't really like golf, so that didn't work out so well. I thank you grandpa, for trying, and succeeding in so many ways.

That you are only as old as you let your self feel.
and you don't have to give up doing things you love just for age.

My Grandpa enjoyed ice cream once in a while. I think he sometimes saw our visits as little excuse to have some. Thinking of that makes me smile.


My grandfather was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
For over 35 years. And I don't even know what the eagles do?
I'm looking them up now, and I will add things to this as I learn them.
From my first look, I am proud to say my Grandfather was a member.
I am very ground to be the grandson of Vic Hayward.


My grandfather was:
Victor Oscar Hayward
Born Aug 1st, 1928, and died Aug 22, 2010. That made him 82.
He' s married to my grandmother, Eleanor Hayward (Armstrong). February 14th (Valentine's Day). They were married for 55 years, so that make them married in 1955, I think.