Remembering Doc Glo
I look back on my childhood and I think back to my fondest memories and what comes to mind is my time with my grandparents. I was the first grandson, the first nephew, the first son, the first. The best part of my life has and always will be the time I got to spend with my family, especially my grandparents. I got to spend the most time with them and they got to know me throughout my life. I could do no wrong in their eyes. A couple years back, after the passing of my Grandma Ree, my father’s mother, my family was in Malibu sitting around the fire and talking about the upcoming birth of my niece. We talked about how my niece would soon be the favorite in the family and my aunt Lisa mentioned to me “aren’t you everyone’s favorite?” I guess it was a little bit true.
My grandparents loved all of us. They really did. I think there was something special between my grandparents Spevak and Grace and myself. My mom and dad always pushed for us to all have a relationship with them. I am glad they did. I got to know all of them so well and there is nothing that I would have done to pass that up. I passed on joining the military after high school so I could spend time with them. I passed on moving for work so I could know them more.
Growing up, I spent summers in Malibu with my grandma Ree and my grandpa Charlie. The weeks I wasn’t there, I would spend time in Santa Monica with my gramma Glo. My mom would take me and drop me off for a week or so. I would go to work with my uncle and we would always check on my gramma Glo. My grandpa Harry was an old curmudgeon and I would watch football with him at his house unannounced. I know he was nervous about it at first, but when I left and returned home to find my mom in tears because he called her and said he had the best time with me….there are no words to describe how that felt.
My grandparents were absolutely amazing people. From my grandmother who left Ohio to live in California, to my grandma Glo who was a small town girl from Iowa and got her Ph.D., my grandfather who was a college professor, my grandma Tek who always had a kiss and love for me, and my grandpa Charlie who was intimidating yet had the biggest heart.
I didn’t have a favorite, they are all my favorites.
In the summers, I would spend time with my grandparents. For some weeks, I would spend with my gramma Glo, also known as “Doc Glo.” One summer, we found a pizza place called Aunt Chovie’s. From what I can remember, the pizza was not that great. But the best part was that they made the pizzas right in front of you. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Every time I visited we would go there. On Saint Patrick’s Day one year, I went to my gramma’s house to have cabbage and corned beef. Was it my favorite? No. But it was with my gramma so it was special. Even after Aunt Chovie’s closed down, my gramma and I would talk about going there with a smile.
I can still smell her house. It was Gramma’s house or as we called it “609.” The white house down the street from the house that looked like a witch lived there. It was where we had a second or third Christmas, and there was always hugs and kisses. I remember watching the Oliver North hearings, Yan Can Cook, and The Frugal Gourmet. I watched gardening and cooking shows, and also Dodger games. We listened to the radio and my brother and I found a Michael J. Fox movie “Poison Ivy.” I think we wore that VHS out over the years.
My Gramma Glo never lost her Midwestern innocence or gumption. She was always up for learning something new. She probably still has her AOL account, where I would talk to her online for hours. I remember my mom calling her on the way home from school and then talking for another hour or so when she got home. She was the first person I always called when I was stressed about something in life and she always had the best way to cheer me up. She never doubted me and never and always had the calming voice. Whenever I was in the area I had to stop by if even for a minute. A few times those quick stops turned into hours long conversations and a few nights spend in the spare bedroom.
When I left California, heading back to Washington, then off to Bahrain, I felt that might be the last time I got to spend with my grandmother. I made sure that I spent as much time as I could, listening to her laugh, and giggle, and just sit with her. I am thankful for all the time I spent with her and will always remember her for everything she is. I got to Skype with her from Bahrain, and when I got to Rhode Island. This past Mother’s Day, I made sure to send her flowers as I was unable to get back home as I had planned. About a week before she passed, I received a thank you card from her. I will make sure it goes into the box I have back in California that has all the cards she has sent me throughout the years.
Love you Doc. 143 always all ways.
And as she always says “Goodnight and God Bless. Xoxo”
Thanks for reading.
Photos thanks to my Uncle Harry and Sister Sasha.