Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Namesake

My given name is Ralph I. _______ III, I was named for my grandfather, Mr. Ralph I. _______ of Steubenville, Ohio by my father, Ralph II.

Grandpa was as unique as you can imagine. He was born in St. Marys, West Virginia in 1902. What he didn't have was much formal education (8th grade), but had more innate intelligence than most people I have met. He repaired police and fire radios in a 30+ mile radius of S-Ville and got his license in 1934. Given the day, he actually leased equipment...common today, but rare, I'm sure, back then.

Three interesting things about him. For the first, remember that Ralph was an honorable and honest man in all his dealings. When I was 16, he implored me not to smoke. He said that if I didn't ever smoke, he would give me his gold pocket watch (I'd guess from about 1920). I had smoked by the time of this offer, and couldn't take it. Remember he was honorable...he expected me to be as well.
The takeaway: Your reputation for honesty is important, don't squander it

The second was something that he told me when I was in college: "Ralph, never do anything half-assed". In his eloquent yet simple Ohio River Valley logic, he meant for me to do my best.

Finally, he probably had the only national edition of the Sunday New York Times in Steubenville at his news stand on 4th Street. He'd let me read it first sometimes, but his rule was that I had to put it back in the order I found it, section by section. He didn't have the education, but he never stopped learning...

Grandpa passed away in 1981. I wish he could have been around to meet the First Officer, and she him as well - they would have hit it off so well. Honestly, I probably have almost as many little kid memories of Ralph as I do of Bayside when I was young. Few know it, but I am proud to carry his name...

3 comments:

Lynn said...

What a great legacy your Grandfather passed onto you:~)

Joan said...

From your description, your Grandfather was obviously a very wise man. And I'm sure he would be proud knowing that his grandson not only carries his name but his principles as well.

Michael C said...

You know, Steubenville was where Dean Martin was born.