My Grandfather’s Shoe

My Grandfather’s Shoe

I keep my Grandpa’s shoe displayed where I can see it. This is a constant reminder of his wisdom and grace. The shoe is built up several inches because my Grandfather, “Daddy Fred,” had one leg shorter than the other. When he was a boy he fell out of a cherry tree and had a compound fracture. He said his leg was attached only by some skin. Someone made a wooden box to fit around his leg and he was in bed on his back for months while his leg grew back. This probably accounts for his patience with others.

He was an intelligent man who was well thought of in his farming community of Farmington. People came from all over the community to see Daddy Fred and ask him for advice about their problems. This is the wisdom that he shared with me. He said he listened politely when someone came to see him. When they asked for his advice, he always gave the same answer: “Let me sleep on it, and you come back tomorrow.” He said, of course nobody came back because they just needed someone to listen to them talk things through to figure things out for themselves. They did not want advice. This has stuck with me even though Daddy Fred died in 1963.

He was so well liked and respected in the community. In 1939, my Grandfather, Fred Roberts Lakey, served on the first board of directors for the Davie Electric Membership Corporation (now EnergyUnited).

Mary Hooper, Seven Devils, a member of Blue Ridge Energy

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