I don’t remember anything about my Great Grandfather Schweer, because of a tragedy, long before I was even thought of. At some point, during my Fathers innocents of young age, he went on a hunting trip with his Grandfather, Will Schweer. An occurrence that was not uncommon, even fairly regular. They would spend the day together, enjoying the outdoors, and the wilds of Nebraska. On this last trip, an accident occurred, and my Father, fatally shot his Grandfather.
I’m not even sure what the specifics were, for I never even heard the story until the day of Dad’s funeral. He never once spoke of it, nor of his time with his Grandfather. I had always wondered why Dad had no desire to go hunting, and then I found out why. I wish I had know then, for I could have asked how it happened, and what the circumstances were. As it is, all I know is that he was a fairly young boy, and that his Father, my Grandfather, never let him forget it.
The story does explain some of Dad’s little eccentricities, and probably much of his silence. He had an unspoken rule, not to share any emotion, or even to let them show on the surface. He was a very hard man to read, unless you knew him very well. Yet for us kids, he had a special place in his heart. Even though he never said the words, we knew he loved us very much because of the attention he showered on us. Taking us everywhere, and sharing his life experiences in a strangely educational way.
I’ll always remember the day I flew out for Germany, Dad took me to the airport. Very few words were spoken, and heaven forbid there was anything like a hug. But he shook my hand, like a man, firm and strong, a little lingering in a familiar way. Then the most amazing thing happened. He put his hand on the back of my neck, and gave just the faintest of squeezes. More feelings were communicated with that small moment of physical contact, than could have been communicated any other way in a life time. I had to force the tears back from my eyes, for fear I might let him down if he saw them. To tell the truth, I’m having a hard time even writing this without tearing up. I will forever remember that one specific day with the fondness of a million memories.
The picture at the top is My Father at a very young age, in far happier times for him. and the picture at the bottom is Dad and His Grandfather Will after one of their many hunting trips.