When I went to Hurst to help my grandmother clean up her files from my grandfather’s office I discovered many things. I discovered how fortunate I am to be in the position that I am in today.

My grandfather spent $300 on 3-13-50 for a 1950, 8 cylinder CUSTOM DELUXE Ford Tudor automobile. He bought it when he was in Lawrence Kansas. Someday I will have grandma explain the reasoning behind the purchase of the 1950 Tudor to me.

Imagine what it would cost if someone tried to buy a 1950 Tudor today. They are collector’s items. But the real thing is when I looked at the receipt for the car that he bought from the Morgan-Mack Motor Company is that he paid for it all in cash. It’s amazing in my mind that he had the money in 1950 to just plunk down $300 to buy a car.

We live in two different societies then and now. Then we purchased only what we could afford and never on credit, as many people still lived with the specter of 1929 hanging over their heads. People losing fathers, who watched their life savings, disappear because of margin calls that they could not cover.

So if you wanted something and you wanted it bad enough, you saved until you could afford the “finer things in life”. I guess that is one of the lessons that I learned from my grandfather. Don’t purchase what you can’t afford and don’t allow your credit to be ruined.

I learned the 2nd lesson the hard way after living on my credit cards the last year before I left school. I am still paying off student loans because I didn’t follow the rules that my grandfather showed me to be a responsible adult. Looking back at the mistakes I have made, I try and show my daughter and son the great lessons that my grandfather and father have shown me. Maybe it will help them be a more fiscally responsible person.

Society now has credit cards here and credit cards there. We live in a society of excess. We live to have one more present, one more gift, one more trinket that the others don’t. I admit that I have a lot of junk. I’m a pack rat, like my mother and grandfather before me. I don’t throw stuff out because “I may need it in the future.” But do I really need some of the old games that I don’t play anymore? Do I need 3 copies of a CD that I don’t listen to anymore? I really don’t think so.

I guess this spring, when I do my biannual spring cleaning, I will put a bunch of things on the sidewalk and see what people will give me for things that I don’t need anymore. There are some stuff that I will keep, knowing that some day my grandchildren will look at and wonder why grandpa kept this or that.

I am grateful that I have been given this link to my grandfather’s past. It’s one more chance to see the man I miss and wish to emulate in some ways.