At the message boards I'm so hooked on, everyone was posting pics of themselves and their families. I couldn't get a pic to size right for the boards, so decided to just post a link to my blog instead so everyone can see what I and my family look like.
Well it wasn't long after I had posted that link that I got this private message from a fellow Splitcoast member:
Hi. My name is Ester. I was reading the posts where everyone put up their pictures(in the CE forum). Anyway I followed your link to your blog. I live in Ft. Worth and my hb is an avid fish lover too. I read about your grandfather on your blog and am wondering if your grandfathers name is J. Holbert Smith? I'm not sure if I got the first name correct but the last name is Smith.
If he is, my hb knows who he is. I don't know if you know but they took down the Aquarium at the Ft. Worth Zoo. Maybe a couple years ago now. Yeah, my hb was really really bummed. All the fish were distributed. I know some went to Dallas and to San Antonio. I can't remember whats there now, its been awhile since I've been to the zoo.
Sorry this got long, I just meant to ask you 1 question.
Wow! Isn't that something? She IS talking about my grandaddy.
So I replied back to her and here is our following correspondance:
OMG!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!! My grandaddy was James Hulbert Smith! Wow, this is a small world isn't it? How well did your husband know him? Grandaddy was so special. I loved him dearly. He was more like a dad to me than my grandfather. I sometimes think he had celebrity status in Fort Worth! There wasn't anywhere we went where he wasn't known by someone and people were always waving at him and saying hello and vise versa. What is your husband's name? Oh and Grandaddy spelled his name Hulbert. You were close.
It's been a couple of years since I was at the FW zoo and I'm crushed to hear they took away the aquarium. That was a special place to me for obvious reasons. I don't understand why they did that! I'm so glad I have the great memories of that place though...no one can take that away. I wonder now if there are any surviving fish from Gd's tanks. Probably not. Nothing lives forever.
Wow Ester, tell your husband I said hello! Thanks for pm'ing me! Let your husband know I'm happy to talk about fish anytime he wants.
going back in time
My hb(Larry Wright) read your blog and yelled out "I know that man, her grandfather". This may get long but here it is.
This happened about maybe 25 to 30 years ago. My hb thinks he was about 12 (he's almost 42 now). He had some stingray fish he put an ad in the paper he was trying to sell. Your grandfather answered the ad and went to Larrys' home to see them. Your grandfather came over with his mom, my hb remembers her too. He bought 2 stingrays and invited my hb and his mom to go to his home to see his fish. My hb says he was in awe of the den. He remembers it like it was yesterday. He was describing everything to me. He asked when did your grandfather pass? He often thought of him and what had happened to him. He says he was a very kind man and wished he had known him more.
I don't remember why they took away the aquarium at the zoo but I do remember thinking they were crazy. It seemed to be a huge attraction. I had never seen fish so big. Before I met my hb, fish were just something pretty to look at. Now I know they're so much more. My hb has always had aquariums. Right now we have 4. The largest is 190,100,55,29 and a beta bowl. We have all kinds of fish. Right now the oldest ones we have may be about 7 years old.
My hb is crazy about fish. I was talking to some one on the board awhile back and told her how his dearest fish are in our freezer. He can't part with them and so he puts them in freezer bags and there they are. Actually he can't fathom just throwing them away and he won't bury them because our cats would probably dig them up. At least that's what he says but why is it only the most precious ones that go in the freezer.
Okay this is getting long. I'm glad you have very fond memories of your grandfather. Both of mine died when I was a little kid. As an adult I understand how much I missed because of that.
My last reply:
Wow, I'm just amazed by your story and I have to say I got VERY choked up reading it to my mom. Especially the fish in the freezer part! I just about fell out reading that part because Grandaddy did the same thing! I can't help but wonder if your husband got the idea from him. Granmomma thought GD was NUTS for keeping his prized fish in the freezer lol! Me and my sister used to ask him all the time to unwrap one and show it to us and he was pretty thrilled to do so...too funny. No telling if that memory would have ever surfaced again in my mind had you not mentioned what your hubby did. Thank you for that.
It's such a connection you have no idea! I wonder if at some point I ever crossed paths with your husband. He isn't much older than I am...just a couple of years. Me and mom both think his name sounds very familiar. Where did he go to school? Did you grow up in FW?
I remember those sting rays!! Grandaddy sure did delight in those things. He used to get this boyish excitement when ever the rays would bury into the sand and was always drawing my attention to it lol. What a trip.
It's so amazing after all these years your husband remembered GD and by name even! I love it that he remembers the fish room too. It had an impact on everyone who walked into it though.
I wish your husband could have known GD better too. He was the friendliest man I've ever known and so funny! It was a terrible blow when he died. It was sudden and it happened about three or four years ago.
The doctors think he had some kind of stroke or heart attack. Not sure exactly. He went fast though and didn't suffer much.
He had a really great life with many adventures. I'll be writing about him on my blog if your husband is interested.
If Grandaddy knew this person had contacted me, I bet he would have gotten the biggest kick out of this story! He'd be just as amazed as me probably. :)