Tall and lanky.
Stubborn to the point that at times it was frustrating.
Very straight & to the point.
These are just a few of the characteristic Pap Barrick had. In my Slice on Sunday I focused on Pap G. But now it’s time to talk about Pap B. On that side of the family I was one of five grandkids. But I was just one of two that was super close to Mam & Pap. For I just lived 2 blocks south of them. And for years that was wonderful. Most afternoons if I wasn’t next door you would find me up the street. While I did enjoy spending time talking about books and sewing quilts with Mam it was Pap I found myself talking about life and more serious things. I don’t know why but we just did.
He was the grandfather who every summer and even fall (up until I entered 1st grade) we would go camping with in Tennessee. It always makes me laugh when I think about how every year as we were leaving Bristol and headed into Pigeon Forge he would be on the CB Radio and just cussing up a storm about the traffic. I would get on our radio and inform him that I’m able to hear him and then break into a giggle fit. The next thing I knew Mam would be saying, “Johnny!” And then more cussing and he would shut it off. They would camp in the spot next to us every time and every morning I would get ready and head out our camper door, across the campfire area and right up to their door. We camped together for many years until Mam fell out of the motorhome in South Carolina when I was 7.
In the years following I always would visit and just like before I would talk to Mam about books & quilts. Pap and I would have the more serious talks and I honestly loved that. It made me feel all grown up. I remember when I was 13 we were sitting there and he looked at me and said, “You and I both had a big world changing event happen at age 13. Mine was Pearl Harbor. I remember it like it was yesterday.” When I went away to college our talks happened less frequently, but I still tried to find time to visit.
Mam unexpectedly passed away in January of 2012. It was only 8 months after losing Pap G and that hit me hard. But not as hard as Pap B. He stayed semi-healthy until 2016. Around June he started declining and I knew it was coming because I had seen it in Pap G. We lost him in the early hours of August 19, 2016.
In 2016 one big fashion trend came back: flannel. Both of Pap G and Pap B wore flannel, but I associated one particular color with both. Red was Pap G’s color. Hunter green was Pap B. If you were to look into my closet you will find six flannel shirts, but I have two that are quite dear to me. That Christmas I received a red flannel and a hunter green flannel. Every time I wear them it makes me miss both of them so much. And at the same time I feel like they are still with me.
Oh if only I could back…