More Than A Grandfather

More Than A Grandfather

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          More Than A Grandfather

     My grandfather has had such a huge impact on

my life. Why, you ask? It’s because of the
kind of person that he is, and all of the things he has accomplished in his life. He has been

successful at every thing he has ever done and has never failed at anything he has ever tried. He

worked so hard for everything that he has and at one point he had to work two jobs to support his

wife and four kids. He has always been a great provider for his family. I can only hope to be half

the person he is. My grandfather has been my strength and inspiration throughout the years. His

kindness, love and good examples were stepping stones for me to follow.

     John B. Martinez was born to John Martinez Sr. and Dora Martinez on November 11,

1929. My grandpa was born and raised in the wild and rugged terrain of Colorado Springs, Co.

He was the youngest of five children, and was raised during a tough time in our history, the

Depression Era. However, his family was rich in other ways, they had each other and they had

the land they lived on, which was filled with magnificent aspen groves that blanketed the many

slopes. To my grandfather their land was like his playground and his jungle where he could do as

he pleased. His playground was as broad as his imagination and as a child he had many

adventures in his jungle. During the summer, he and his friends spent countless days at a near by

watering hole, diving in and swimming to escape the hot summer days. In the spring they would

run through the wildflower filled foreground, as he described it I could see the light violet Showy

Daisies, lemon yellow Sunflowers, baby Blue Bells, and the pink Mountain Dandelions. In

the winter when the water would freeze over, they would ice skate and have snow ball fights.

     My grandfather was a very successful man in life. When he was seventeen years old he

started work picking cotton in the local farms and would bring every cent he earned home for his

parents. He shortly enlisted in the Air Force on November 20, 1946 where he trained to be a fire

fighter. Even though he was away from his family he still sent money every month. Later he

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worked for Civil Service at White Sands Missal Range in New Mexico. He worked his way up

and finally he became a Fire Chief in charge of thirty men. His department handled the safety of

the incoming military aircraft. My grandfather retired from Edward’s Air Force Base as Fire

Chief after thirty-three years of active duty.

     With his busy schedule he still was able to take an active role in his home life. He was my

Grandmother Margaret’s equal partner. Working as a fireman meant that four days out of the

week he would eat and sleep at the fire house since he was on call 24 hours a day. Three days out

of the week he would be home. During those three days he would cook, clean, and help raise

their four children. My mom and three uncles have told me many stories of all the feasts that my

grandma and grandpa would have ready for them when they came home from school. He would

make dozens of homemade hamburgers, with fresh baked bread, and plump crispy french fries to

feed his four hungry children. On special days he would make spaghetti which meant that the

house would be filled with the aroma of his famous sauce, which was simmered all day until just


     After my parents divorced when I was four years old, my grandpa was there for me. This

was because my father did not remain a constant in my life. Not having a father present in my life

left a space that only my grandfather could fill. My grandfather stepped in and took an active role

in my life. He bought me my first bike and we planted a garden together. He was the best role

model anyone could ask for, he also took time to show me the simple things in life like how to

enjoy the sunset or why watching huge bumble bees buzz around the garden was important to the

flowers we had planted and grown together. I was always included in his daily activities and

everything he did had a purpose. Our days together would be filled with fun and lessons in life.

     Specifically, I remember sitting on grandpa’s lap watching TV. When he pointed out a

scar on his left elbow and he asked me if I knew how he had gotten the scar. He explained,

“That’s where the Indian’s shot me, with an arrow.” He began to explain how he was running

from the Indians and that they were trying to get his scalp. This didn’t really happen but anything

that grandpa said I believed, besides the idea of my grandpa escaping from the Indians was so

awesome. He had endless stories about the Cowboys and Indians and how they did things in the

“western days,” as he would call it. For instance, he loved to sing me the songs the Cowboys

would sing when they were roaming the trails. I can still hear the those cowboy lyrics now, “Out

in the West Texas town of El Paso I fell in love with a Mexican girl. Nighttime would find me in

Rosa’s Cantina Music would play and Felina would whirl.” This was grandpa’s favorite song

which he sang to my grandmother and I many times. Some of the most interesting stories I can

remember were about when he was a boy growing up in the “Jungles of Colorado” with the

Gorillas. He would tell of jumping from trees, landing on wild boars, and riding them through the

forest, which I found out later was true. My grandfather could paint a picture with his words and

my imagination would take me there.

     As you can tell from my story my grandfather is my hero. He was the shining star that

never dimmed when all other lights went out for me. My grandfather is the kind of man who can

make anyone forget what they were upset about. Not only did he have a huge impact on who I

became as an adult, but he still holds an important role in my life now that I am a women. To this

day, I look up to him. I can only hope that one day I can make him proud. My grandfather has

inspired me in so many ways and shown me the beauty of the imagination. He has given me a

glimpse of the boy he once was and I have grown up admiring the strong and loving man he is

today. My grandfather is more than a grandfather he is also a father to me.

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