## Friday, October 5, 2012

### UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Day 2 - What is the hypotenuse of a right angle?

And he called me his mathematician, it was perhaps one of my favorite roles in life, maybe the one I miss the very most.  I can still remember the way his eyes would light up, a smile washing over his face and he would chuckle that one of kind laugh before he would ease deeper into the language of building, which of course required a lesson in math.  It started with the same question every time, at every encounter.  He would scoop me up into his arms, or drop right to one knee where ever we were and then he'd ask "What is the hypotenuse of a right angle"?  And I would respond in a voice that only a 3 year old can mimic "It's the square root of the sum of the two sides squared".  Mastery, I had it down and I thirsted for the wisdom that he shared at every corner.  This was the way it always started.  From the time I could speak he was teaching me how to crunch a number, how to engineer a bridge, how to build a house, how to do the figuring from within my own mind without ever having to grab a pencil and paper.  I was his favorite student, teacher's pet, and I think I knew it.

My grandpa John, the foundation of my world, the one that remained strong and intact even when others cracked and crumbled.   In my humble opinion there was nothing he couldn't do.  He dreamed big but lived small.

Sometimes I hear the stories of his younger years, and more recently an old friend blessed me with a dvd made of home movies from the 50's and 60's.  It seems maybe he had a wild side a country mile wide but that was long before me.  He raised his family in Fort Seward operating John's Lodge, the local watering hole.  He had a small plane back in the day and though I never flew with him I have heard many a fabled tale over the years.  Eventually he moved to Willow Creek and bought The Forks, another local watering hole.  And that is where my story began.