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I was very privileged to have been able to tag along with my grandfather on a trip to West Pennsylvania during my late teens. I went wit...

I was very privileged to have been able to tag along with my grandfather on a trip to West Pennsylvania during my late teens. I went with him to his high-school reunion and got to meet his family and friends. The day after the reunion, I captured this image of him with his sister, Mary during a visit with Clarence (his older brother). I remember how the air was full of laughter as stories of "Peepy" (his childhood alias) flowed.

Earlier that morning, he had taken me to a park by a creek where he showed me an old tree scarred with so many bullets from target practise that it had become hollow over time. I had a picture I took of him there, crouched inside the hollow of that tree which he and many others had gradually caused to form many years prior. If I can find it, I'll share it here. During this time together, I saw a side of him I hadn't seen before. He was deep in reflection and deep in memories of another time. I'm sure he could still hear the echo of his childhood friends as they ran and played together along the banks of that creek.

Later, he drove me out by the roadside and stopped the car. He said he wanted to show me where his childhood house used to be. We climbed over an old railway bridge and hiked off into the woods. The thicket eventually cleared and we walked into an open area. Beams of gentle sunlight shone through the high branches of the trees overhead. He nodded and pointed to the foundation remnants of an old house. "This is it, Benjamin. This is where your Pop Pop grew up." He stood for a moment in thought, again fading off to another time. Then, suddenly, he returned to the present and pointing, directed my attention to the "bottomless sinkhole" just off in the distance. As we walked towards this strange enigma, he told me about how they'd thrown everything but the kitchen sink in there for decades, including a full sized car - and it never filled up, nor was anything that went down into that hole ever seen again.

To be honest, I was pretty happy to make my way back to the car after hearing about the sinkhole, not to mention, standing relatively close to it during his narrative. But the fact that my Grandfather took the time to bring me out there and share his cherished childhood memories with me is among my fondest moments shared with him.

Special thanks to my Mother, who found this photo after so many years have passed.

Contributed by Benjamin Sullivan, Grandson of Charles Nale Sr.

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