California Blog – Entry 1

I got a call from my grandpa about three weeks into November about going west for a while to stay with him over my lengthly winter break. The next day, my uncle was emailing my itinerary and told me I’d be leaving in a week.
We’d talked about this for months, but it all seemed to happen so fast.
Actually, I’m not exactly sure when my uncle Vangeli got it into his head to ask me to write down my grandpa’s story. Maybe it was an idea he, my mom, and Aunt Deedee tossed around in their heads for years, biding their time until one of us nieces or nephews popped out, grew up, and wanted to become a writer.
Whatever the reason, I was glad to be recruited. If I’m not a writer yet, maybe this will make me become one.
I always though people were born story-tellers, though. Like my grandpa. But maybe that’s not it. Maybe people become story-tellers when they have stories to tell. Maybe writers become writers once they have something to write about.
So that’s why I’m going to California.
My grandfather’s children seem to know a lot more of his stories than I do, but the person who knew the most was my grandma. I’m under the impression that she’s passed them on more efficiently than he has. The stories he liked to share with his grandchildren were fiction. Over a couple years’ worth of visits, he had my youngest brother completely convinced that he was a pirate in his youth. An old pirate movie he sat us down to (he was the hero, and my grandma was sometimes the damsel he rescued from the plank, and sometimes the wench he teased) and buried “treasure” we dug up one summer were the clinchers for Austin. I never fell prey to the trick, but wondered at a few things. There was a collection of swords hidden behind a wall panel in the hall. The knotted scar stretching up his arm was certainly real. The difference between those summer vacations and this trip is that now I’m going to learn the truth about that scar.

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