Friday, July 30, 2010


There is maybe no sadder sight than to see a fellow human being who has been beaten up and then beaten down by life. Kicked in the stomach, dealt a raw deal, hit over the head, call it what you will. Left by the side of the road.

My Grandfather Norbo was one of those people. You could see it in his hollow eyes, hear it in his voice, observe it in the way he walked and carried himself. Sometimes you could catch it in his vacant stare as he sat in his old brown rocker in the living room. You could almost smell the fear. An unspoken desperation hung like a cloud over the very fabric of life itself. His gaunt face and twisted body told a tale. There was an underlying, unspoken sadness that permeated his very being. It was like he was always looking over his shoulder. For what or whom I didn't know, but I had the sense even as a young boy that there was more to the story. Much more. You see, my Grandpa Norbo had a past life. A past that would haunt him until the day he died . . . to be continued . . .


  1. I have a very vague remembrance of your Grandfather Norbo. I remember yourvery stalwart-looking Grandmother better. I am waiting for the promised continuation of the story about your Grandfather.

  2. What??? You can't just start a story and then leave us hanging!!! (or maybe you can...)
    I absolutely remember Grampa and Gramma Norbo because Timothy Norbo and I were the only kids that were at the Tuesday night prayer meetings at the Tab with all the adults while the rest of you were probably skating or not watching TV or something! (I did learn to pray without fear in front of other people - "finding value in all things")

  3. I worked in the Staff store during two summers while we were students at PBI during the 70s. I worked with Mr. Miner, a dear man. One day I was working the till and your grandfather came through the line. I don't remember what prompted the conversation, but I can still remember to this day his telling me that he had lived some "wasted years" before he because a Christian. "Wasted years" - those were his words. His deep regrets made an impact on a young student. When I read the above comments you made about your grandfather, I was reminded of that converstion with him all those years ago.

    - Jack Whitehead

  4. I remember your Grandpa and Grandma. I remember that they often did not look happy, but that they were good industrious people.