About Grandfather

Grandfather: An elderly Navajo man with a kindly wrinkled face, slightly tinted glasses, wearing a shirt and vest and necklace of stone beads.

The Wisest Man you never knew

If you read around the site, you might notice Grandfather. He is commenting here and there on the articles, sometimes dropping little anecdotes. I want to be clear with my readers: Grandfather isn’t real. He is a fictional persona.

But he also isn’t. He is an amalgamation of two men I’ve met in my life, who were both very wise old native men. “Charlie” Begay, a Navajo from Shiprock, and Little Jim, a Sioux I met in Iowa. Charlie was a friend’s dad here in NM, and Little Jim was a healer I met on an ill-fated stay in rehab as a teenager.

In different ways, at very different times, they both gave me good advice that I needed to hear. They were both hilariously funny old bastards. Clever. I conflate them into one person on Crystal Awareness maybe because they were so alike. Not the kind of men to use three words when one would do. Short patience with my perceived idiocy.

Always smiling gap-toothed smiles. They didn’t really look alike, but they could have been brothers. They both wore lightly tinted sunglasses. I don’t now why that always stuck in my mind but it did. Something about the pale brown lenses.

I’m sure some people will think me terrible — appropriating a couple old indian guys as a fictional narrator?!?! @#$hole. I don’t know though. I don’t think they would mind. In fact, I think they would think it’s funny as hell. I’ve never seen either of them without smiling eyes, the kind where you can’t tell if you are the joke, or if you are in on the joke, and that makes the joke that much funnier.

But as much as I can from poor memory, I try to put their real words in their mouths or at least the essence of things I heard them say. And a healthy dose of pure fancy, because why not? This explanation is here for anyone to read. I DON’T try to mimic their accents or do dialect. Oh God. (Actually, that would probably make them both laugh 10x harder, especially Charlie).

Grandfather comes from a positive and loving place in my heart.