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Grandfather: Bill Jacobs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "Onething you can keep and still give is your word." This is one of thecountless quotes my grandpa has shared with me. Though he wasn't its originator,he vowed to live by it every day of his life.

My grandpa, Bill Jacobs, wasborn in Pennsylvania in 1932 and lived with his parents and two brothers. Heoften shares stories of the way life was "back then," telling about hisschooling, years in the Army and, of course, life with my grandma. I love to hearhow they grew up together and barely saw each other during the two years he wasin the Army. He likes to brag about how my grandma waited for him, and how luckyhe was to find her.

My grandpa's childhood and mine have strangecoincidences. While growing up, one set of his grandparents disliked him and hisbrothers because they were not the same religion. I am going through the samething: my other grandparents despise my family. The only difference is that I donot know why. Grandpa Bill helps me cope with this, telling me, "It made mea stronger and a better grandparent, and one day it will for you, too. Don't feelhatred toward them, feel sorrow because they are missing out on some veryterrific people." I believe him because not only do we learn from our ownmistakes, but we can learn from others', too.

Ever since I was a baby, mygrandpa has been right beside me taking an active part in my life. When I wasyounger, he took me for long walks in the woods, where we shared so many of ourspecial talks and gathered as many acorns and sticks as we could. When wereturned, we made our "walking sticks" from the branches, and paintedfaces on our acorns with his paint sets. I was never allowed to paint more thanone hat the same color or design. Grandpa said the hats gave them character andno two should be alike.

When I stayed overnight at his house, I alwaysheard a bedtime story, though of course he'd add an educational twist. Nights Icouldn't stay, I would listen to a tape that my grandpa made for me when Icouldn't be with him.

Grandpa Bill has touched my life. He is the type ofperson who will go out of his way to extend a helping hand. Usually there is noneed to ask, he is already there giving his all. He retired a few years ago, butdid not like sitting around so he decided to help my uncle deliver pizzas.

One day on a delivery run, Grandpa's vehicle slid on gravel and crashedon its side. A photo in our town's newspaper showed him climbing out the carwindow carrying the pizza box. "We need to get food to our customers! Wecan't be late," were his first words. He wasn't worried about the vehicle,let alone how he was doing. That goes to show what kind of person he is. Thereare not too many people like my grandpa.

I am 17 years old and closer tomy grandpa than ever. He still teaches me morals and tries to spend as much timewith me as he can. Whether it's going out to breakfast, attending one of myactivities, or spending an hour at church, Grandpa Bill is always there with abig smile. I look forward to going to work and finding the note he leaves for mein the cash register. When Grandpa is around, there is never a dull moment. Whatgrandpa do you know who still roller blades, ice skates and skis? Mine keeps hispromises and has a huge impact on others' lives. He is a unique man and truly isthe perfect example of a hero to me.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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