Roy Noel (and Jack Noel), told by Jennifer Noel

Your grandfather, my father, died in July of 1974. I was 29. Just returned from a three week trip to Europe with the Pennsylvania Ambassadors, a group of about 200 kids in three musical groups…..a chorus, band and jazz band. We toured England, France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. A fun trip. I saw the queen of England riding side-saddle in a parade on her birthday. You mentioned that your grandfather didn’t talk to you. He wasn’t into spending time talking. He was a “doer”.

He worked two jobs for most of his life and knew how to fix almost ANYTHING around the house. He did so many things for your dad when he bought the house you grew up in…….and he would have done anything for him. He thought you were an absolutely beautiful child. I remember when my mother baby sat you for about two weeks when your mother had her appendix removed. He took loads of pictures of you…..having your bath in the kitchen sink and lying on the kitchen table on a blanket, playing peek-a-boo with you.

I have NO childhood memories of him holding me, hugging me, or doing anything with me. He was always working….providing for his family. He nearly built the inside of the house on north Main St. in Spring Grove. Before we moved in, it had no electricity. He wired the entire house. It had no sewer. He had one of his co-workers from Reads Standard, in York, helped him install the sewer pipes. I remember it because they melted five pound pieces of lead to pour around the joints to seal the pipes together. It had no furnace. It had ONE running faucet in it. He put the toilet, bath tub and shower in. Built a bathroom. There was none. My room was split into two room so the house could have a bathroom. He put wall board on all the walls because the walls were nearly rotten. Later, he cemented the cellar.

Installed the washer and dryer. His way of showing love to me was to “be there” for me. It is probably the single most influential reason that I have never married…….because I never learned how to relate to available men. The one relationship that I did have with Charlie Reed (he was a real darling)….graduated from Millersville with a BS in Secondary Ed. English major. He broke up our relationship because he got tired of hearing me say that I didn’t think I was good enough for him. Actually I was………I just didn’t feel worthy….because my father never gave me any attention.

That’s how it works, you know. So, the point being, it wasn’t that he didn’t love you……..he just didn’t talk about it. I hope this brings some light on the subject.

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.