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Remembering my grandfather Logan

Started: 2022-02-16 18:36:27

Submitted: 2022-02-16 20:05:57

Visibility: World-readable

My grandfather, Merritt Logan, died Friday evening. He was 91 years old.

Many of my memories of my grandfather overlap with those of my grandmother, which I recorded when she died five years ago. I remember my grandfather carrying a camera everywhere, a big Canon film SLR with a big bag of lenses, taking snapshots of everything. He printed all of the pictures (and enlarged some of them, framing them on the wall of the living room) and filled shelf after shelf of photo albums.

Most of the Logan cousins
Most of the Logan cousins

Among the pictures I found looking through my grandfather's things this weekend was an enlargement of the picture above: my grandparents at Thanksgiving in 2016, surrounded by their children, eleven of their twelve grandchildren, at least one step-grandchild, their children-in-law and grandchildren-in-law, and their two great-grandchildren at the time.

Mom drives a go-kart with Grandpa Logan
Mom drives a go-kart with Grandpa Logan

My grandfather was a dentist, and he operated a couple of dental offices in the Sacramento area. I have some of his dental work in my mouth: when I was a kid I was riding my bike and chipped a tooth (one of my front incisors, probably on the top, though I don't remember which one), and my grandfather restored it for me. More than thirty years later, I can't tell which tooth it was, so I think that means he did a good job.

My best story of my grandparents comes from the summer of 2002, when Kiesa and I got married. My grandparents had already scheduled a cruise out of Vancouver, British Columbia for the first week of August by the time we officially announced the date of the wedding, and they decided to go ahead with the cruise but catch up with us at our reception in Boulder two weeks later. Kiesa and I went on our honeymoon to Victoria and went to Butchart Gardens. As we were walking into the gardens we ran into my grandparents; their cruise ship's engine room had caught fire shortly after leaving port and was dead in the water until it could be towed back to Vancouver (no doubt karmic retribution for missing my wedding) and the cruise was scrubbed. While they were in Canada they decided to nip over to Victoria and just happened to bump into us.

A week later, at breakfast at my parents' house before the reception in Boulder, my sister Bethany told our grandparents, "If you decide not to come to my wedding please don't feel like you have to make up for it by showing up on my honeymoon." My grandparents did not find this especially amusing but everyone else did.

fun fountain
fun fountain

Two years ago, heading into my grandfather's ninetieth birthday, the family planned a big birthday dinner celebration, and I was planning on visiting and seeing everyone. But this happened to be in May of 2020, so the whole thing was canceled. I never saw my grandfather again; even after I moved back to California the pandemic never subsided to the point where it seemed like a good idea to visit. I'll remember him with a camera around his neck, snapping pictures on film.

kyle, grandpa logan, and bethany take pictures
kyle, grandpa logan, and bethany take pictures
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