My grandfather worked for the telephone company. He met my grandmother as she was a telephone operator, who worked those giant phone boards and put the cords in and out for different connections for calls. He helped set up new lines and fix broken ones.
One time when visiting a house, he had to go into an attic to find and fix some wires. While he was up there, he noticed a very dirty and in need of love wooden rocking horse. He also noticed boxes and boxes of empty alcohol bottles. Having a daughter about four years old at home, he asked the lady of the house if he could buy the horse so he could fix it up for his daughter for Christmas. She told him she did not want the money, but he could have the horse if he also took all the bottles with him. So he did.
He worked at night to fix the rockers and paint the horse a pretty dapple grey. My grandmother made a new mane and tail and together they put together a lovely bridle and saddle with some scrap leather and a few narrow strips of velvet. It was the highlight of my mother’s Christmas.
I met Silver when I was about three and was at my grandmother’s house. She had moved from her house on the river into town when my grandfather died as she had never learned to drive. Her house was packed with all sorts and kinds of things… a giant mirror, Tiffany like lamp shade, empty Pringle cans, bags of those plastic Legg eggs and of course quilts. I feel in love with Silver the moment I met him. Fast forward 21 years and my grandmother was moving out of home into an extended care facility and asks if there is anything I want; I said Silver… and any quilts you can spare. And she laughed as we both knew there were LOTS of quilts.
I painted Silver and gave him a new mane and tail, left his old bridle and saddle and eventually my son came to be quite the horseman on Silver. For the longest time, I had a frame of three generations of Silver riders and I like to think my grandfather would be smiling to think how many more years of love he gave Silver just by asking and taking a chance.
PS that is me… and there ARE quilts in the back ground!