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Vintage bassinet kindles Grandpa Lyle memories

I stood in my garage this weekend — deep in thought.

I was tightening screws on a bassinet made by my grandfather Lyle Armstrong — my mom (Momica’s) father.

I don’t remember much about my Grandpa Lyle. I was 4 years old when he died of a brain aneurysm while picking up his mail at the Kent post office.

Here’s what I do remember about him.

He helped teach me how to tie my shoes. I can vividly remember that. I was sitting on the carpet in our dining room in Kent near our wood stove. He was above me giving instructions.

I remember him teaching me how to write/spell my first name. I spelled it correctly for the first time on a Ryder notepad under his supervision. As I recall, I had a little trouble with the y. The tail was backward, but he helped me correct it.

I remember he lived on the hill above us in Kent, and he’d always bring down a can of Fareway or Hy-Vee brand soda pop for me when he visited. Man, I loved that. I couldn’t wait for him to come. He’d bring my mom a glass bottle of Mountain Dew or Pepsi. (Remember how much better pop tasted in a glass bottle?)

That’s about all I remember of Grandpa Lyle, which makes me a little sad as I sit here and write this because my mom often tells me I look and sometimes act like him. I want to know him.

I often thought about using my journalism skills to track down those closest to him, interview them and get an idea of his personality through their stories.

These are the things I was in deep thought about Sunday.

The bassinet we were tightening and later cleaning was handmade by Grandpa Lyle. I slept in that bassinet when I was a little one. I cried and probably screamed in that bassinet.

Now, my little girl will sleep in the same bassinet. That makes me happy, and I’m sure somewhere it’s making him happy, too.


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