Happy Birthday Grampa Jim

Today marks the one hundred and thirty-fifth anniversary of the birth of one Imre (James) Wigh. I call him Grandpa. He is the character I have

chronicled in a series of childhood memories under the category of Biography-Grandpa Jim.

       I am suffering through a period of melancholy the past few weeks, and today is no different. The fact that today is his birthday has nothing to do with my dilemma, but it adds to my sadness. The man was the only grandparent I knew. The father of my mother, he came to this country from Hungary to make a better life for himself. He landed a job in a coal mine in Southern Illinois near the town of West Frankfort. While mining coal, he was seriously injured and placed on disability. He received a pension of twenty-six dollars a month for the rest of his life; he managed to survive.

Grandpa Jim lived a solitary life on his farm in Michigan. As I have related before, he spent winters in Chicago by the command of my mother. She felt he needed to live a little easier than he did on the farm. When winter passed, and the weather got a bit warmer, Grandpa Jim disappeared. He found a way back to his humble little farm-house in Covert Township.

Happy Birthday Gramps!  Where ever you are.

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