Frederick P. Hinckley was born in July of ’66, 1866. His second wife, Eugenia White, was born in the Dakota Territory in April of 1887. Their first son, William, was born in 1925, and their second, Robert, was born in 1928.
Frederick and Eugenia are my grandparents. William is my uncle, and Robert my dad. My grandfather passed on before I arrived in this world but we used to visit my grandmother who lived on Hinckley Boulevard in Summit Township, Michigan often. She even came to visit us in Arizona during the summer, on the bus, in 1970.
Well, my dearest friend and I are on day two of caring for young master Nathan, our ten week old grandson. At some point around midnight, I began to reflect on my grandparents. Starting a family at a point well past middle age would either be a fountain of youth, or a sure death.
I think it was around 4:30 or 5:00 that thoughts turned toward the passing of time, which in turn led to thoughts of the future. I am just shy of sixty years of age, and I have a tangible link to a time when the assassination of President Lincoln and even the Civil War were recent history.
The passing of time is an interesting thing. It is only with the luxury of hindsight that we see the speed with which time passes. As we age it is that awareness which adds a sense of urgency to all we do. When I arrived in this world, the Edsel was proclaimed the latest in automotive styling. When I bought my first, and only vehicle from a dealership it was a three year old Chevrolet pick up with every available option and the price was a princely $2,900 plus tax and license. Last evening, watching a documentary about the battle of Gettysburg with my grandson asleep on my chest my mind began to wander and soon my thoughts turned toward a grandfather born three years after this epic battle. I thought of the snippets learned about his life over the years; working as a machinist for David Buick, talking about the brave new world that loomed on the horizon with Henry Ford on the front porch of the house, his workshop where countless inventions became manifest, and the children he raised. I thought of four-track players, eight-track tape players, cassette players, CD players, and MP3 players. I thought of the World War I veterans I knew that faded into World War II veterans, that faded into Korean War veterans, that faded into Vietnam War veterans, that faded into…As these thoughts danced through my weary mind, and my grandson slumbered peacefully on my chest, I marveled at the passing of time. It seems as though it was only yesterday that my most pressing concern was whether to buy the Rambler wagon or the ’42 Chevy pick up truck. Wasn’t it mere weeks ago when I taught my son to drive? Now, here I am about to celebrate more than thirty years of being married to the most wonderful woman in the world. The new Jeep is almost twenty years old. My old Dodge that was shiny and new when I was in school now qualifies for historic plates. If the old adage that time flies when your having fun has any validity, then I must be having the time of my life. How else can I explain that it is Monday, again, or that summer is coming to a close, again, or that another year filled with the promise of adventure is about to dawn?