Frank McGuire, my uncle, passed away last weekend at the age of 92. It was too soon, because he could still tell a good story.
Frank gave his children – my wonderful cousins – the gift of story, and the gift of can-do! As a very direct result, his memorial service resulted in many tears, and much laughter. Frank would be proud.
These are my simple word sketches of Frank’s life and spirit:
- The young man of the depression is working a poor farm in Minnesota, and treks to Washington to work in the woods in the winter and treks back to Minnesota in the summer. Treks? Right – with a thumb in the air and hopping freights. That’s can-do.
- The young man gets a letter from his sweetheart in Minnesota. He says, “I don’t like the sound of what’s going on there”, packs his bag, sticks out his thumb and heads to Minnesota to make things right. That’s can-do.
- The father of six finds that the money doesn’t stretch as far as it needs to, so he decides that two jobs are better than one. That’s can-do.
- The older man finds that the social security check doesn’t go as far as he’d like. He says, I like trips to the woods … so now he’s a woodcutter. That’s can-do.
- I congratulate the old man on his first hole-in-one. He says, ‘Not much to it. If you spend 40 years trying, eventually it’s going to go in the hole”. That’s can-do.
- The old man talks to his older brother, who complains that he can’t find anyone who can do a new cedar shingle roof. The old man says, “No problem. I can do that. It will be a nice visit”. That’s can-do.
Thank you Frank, for your may stories, and your example of a life well-lived!