This is a story about my Grandpa, Leslie Eugene Heinz,
as remembered through the eyes of a child.
Les was born March 8, 1920 in Matchwood, Michigan.This is the first photograph we have of Les.
He is being held by his sister Inez, with Carol to the left
and Floyd to their right.
To the right is his Grandma Selina Salzman Heinz.
Lyle and Les loved to play around.
Their father died shortly after Lyle was born in 1921.Les and Lyle about 1930. An old school photo.
Love those eyes, in color, they would be blue. When Les was in woodwork shop he built this table, later flowers and stripes were added by family members.Les worked for the CCC in the Upper Peninsula,
planting trees and sending most of the money home
for the family during the depression.Les, holding the football as
Captain of the Harbor Rams TeamHis brother Lyle is number 3 next to him. Les standing to the left, with his buddies in Harbor Springs.
After High School, Les went to Grand Rapids Junior College in 1939.Les came home and married his High School Sweetheart,
Donna Price on June 13, 1941 in Harbor Springs, Michigan.Les joined the Army-Air Force and went off to war
as a communications guy, stringing up wires
across India and China.I will talk more about his war years in another story.
Les and Donna had a little daughter Joanne before leaving for the War
and a son Don was born while he was away.Les returned from war he and his wife moved
down to Flint, Michigan with a couple brothers and friends
to start working for Bell Telephone.
Later they moved back up north and worked as a lineman
with his friends Gordon Swenor and Bob Clement.
He moved his family to 202 East Lake Street in Harbor Springs
and added two daughters: Kathy & DebbieHe was on the city council, and though he didn’t run
for the office of Mayor, the town folk of Harbor Springs,
voted him in anyway. Here are a few photo’s from that time.
Standing on the dock with Alden Wager.Out of the Pointer, surveying his town from the water.The telephone company featured Les as a Mayor in their magazine. I think this photo was a little too loved by grandchildren along the way.
Grandpa loved his dogs!Here he is with his daughter Deb at the icecaves.I remember spending the night and waking up
to the smell of Grandma’s wonderful breakfasts
and Grandpa down at the kitchen table working and eating.
Looking just like this, with those pens in the pocket.
He became the Plant Engineer for Michigan Bell Telephone
and put his great math skills to work.
We walked to school past his window at work,
where he waved to us each day, and if he didn’t see us,
would call to make sure we were alright.Grandpa brought this old phone home, he loved his old phones. Donna and Les with their new game of Jarts!Grandpa had a heart attack when he was forty,
so he tried to enjoy life a little more,
he built a cabin in the UP and took more time
boating, fishing, and tanning!Someone caught this one of him up at the cabin.
I remember him trying to keep his good tan so he didn’t look sick,
in the back yard on a similar lounge, only with boards
covered in aluminum foil to help catch the rays.Grandpa loved the UP and Lake Gogebic,
this place always made him happy.When his daughter Kathy got married, I managed a seat
right there next to him at the reception.At his daughter Debbie’s wedding.
Les on the left with his son Don.
His sisters Carol and Inez,
with their brother Lyle to the right. Grandpa with Bethany:
This was the loving look he gave each of his grandchildren.Grandpa and me
He took me fishing, out on his ATV, and on the boat,
to the woods and the Cabin,
to the beach, out on the golf courses, and always on a Saturday,
to the garage where he puttered around
to the smell of oil in the air.
He wasn’t a church going man, but he believed in God.
He would always say, he could find God easier out in nature.
He was uncomfortable in church but would attend at times
and listen to his wifes beautiful voice in the choir.
One day his kids were flying a kite and it got caught
too high for him to get it down.
He said, “I can’t get it down, but do you think God can?”
They thought he could, but the eldest daughter wasn’t sure
God was interested in such little things.
Les said a simple prayer like this:
“Lord, Donnie and Joanne have a kite caught in this tree,
and they feel bad about it. They believe you could get it down
for them. And I ask Lord, that you do that for them.”
Soon a brisk breeze started up and lifted the kite out from those
branches and it drifted down to them.
Les often read his Bible while his family attended church.
He showed his Christian upbringing in his deeds.
I am sure now, that he wasn’t perfect, but as a child
I thought, he walked on water.
He left us way too early, on the 30th of September, 1974.
I was in 8th grade music class when
I understood he had passed over.
It was the hardest day ever.
I miss you grandpa.
3 thoughts on “I thought, he walked, on water”
Such a beautiful and touching story! Loved it!
Thank You! He was a well loved man!
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Yeah, i can understand!