Author Topic: Please Review/edit. 500-600 words. A short story about my grandfather.  (Read 621 times)

Offline Shurett

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I’d like to tell you about a man you’ve likely never met. A man who lived through 4 major US Conflicts and the Great Depression. He survived the raising of 3 children during the heyday of The Beetles and Elvis Presley.
This man worked for the same company for 50 plus years and was the founder of a statewide organization for Alabama dairy products. As a freshman at the University of Alabama he worked shoveling ice at Perry’s Pride Creamery, eventually working his way up to be the Vice President of the entire company. Any time I go to an antique shop I look for milk bottles with the Perry’s logo, if I’m lucky enough to find one, it comes home with me.
This man loved to fish in his spare time. He would take my dad all over Tuscaloosa County and beyond, fishing for bream and bass. I bet they had a grand time. I’m told that he even invented his own technique for releasing the fish that weren’t destined for the fryer.  In my family we call this technique the helicopter. I’ve employed it many times in my day and I’ll teach my boys as my dad taught me. Four generations of Shurett men using a technique that my grandfather invented, my eyes light up just thinking about it.
Over the years I’ve been told many stories about this man, sadly, I was never able to meet him. He died just months before I was born. I remember several that still make me laugh, I’ll tell them all to my boys one day.
In the 1970’s phone numbers were still only 4 digits long. At that time we had no need for area codes or prefixes, especially in Alabama. My grandfather’s phone number was 4412 which eventually became 758-4412 and later 205-758-4412. During the time that it was still only four digits, Druid City Hospital was 4421, which resulted in an inordinate amount of misdials from individuals looking to speak to loved ones who were in the hospital. Most often these calls came during normal hours and my grandfather was always kind and cordial to the caller. One evening, after he and Gran had retired for the night, he received several calls from the same individual looking to speak to a relative. After twice being cordial, I suppose he got upset; work starts early at Perry’s Pride Creamery. When the caller misdialed the third time and again asked for the loved one he kindly informed them, “I’m so sorry to tell you, but they’ve just passed.” Problem solved.
As I said earlier my grandfather passed away just a few months before I was born. The closest I’ve come to speaking to him is at the First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, it is only a few miles from the house where he and my grandmother raised those children. In that church, on the far left corner of pew three, a small gold plate bears his name. I liked to sit on pew four so I could read it. We share a name that I am lucky enough to share with my oldest son. Today he would have been 106 years old but he died much too young. The plate on the back of pew three reads, “In memory of Hadley Erckert Shurett July 21, 1912-February 10, 1980.”
He’d rather you call him Red, all of his friends did.

Offline c.e.abrams

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There should be more of a narrative structure to it, in my opinion. As it is now, it mostly reads like a blog post. The little tidbits you added were pretty charming and it seems like you could rework this into something, but you might have to come up with some kind of arc that you can narrate through instead of it being more like a reminiscent facebook post or something like that.

Offline geethr75

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Re: Please Review/edit. 500-600 words. A short story about my grandfather.
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 06:34:07 AM »
He sounds like quite a character, but I think you should flesh him out more. Make it read like a story or a memoir instead of random reflections. All the best.


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Re: Please Review/edit. 500-600 words. A short story about my grandfather.
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2018, 10:56:06 PM »
Thank you for sharing the story about your grandfather. It's a beautiful story. One I'm sure 'Red' would be proud of. Telling it any other way but from the heart, as I feel you did, would not have done justice to the memory of your grandfather. Hopefully, you will continue writing stories about Red- for your future offspring who will never get to meet you or Red.   Best of luck to you with your writing.     Jan