I have been thinking about this for a while. Especially since being cast as a lifestyle blogger and in the habit of producing (and so being inundated by) primers on "how to tie a bow tie", "shake a martini", "split a log" etc. Sure these are all worthwhile pursuits, and can be the foundation for a lifetime of conversation over their minutia, but one doesn't become a better parent for it. Make for a more interesting person? OK give you that. But in much the way any new found skill does.
Pops wandering about in France. #uniform
Those rare occasions when he is silly. When we can get him to laugh. I mean 'lose it' laugh. Usually involves a rude joke have to admit.
He did infact teach me how to tie a bow-tie, shake a martini, shuck oysters and clams too. Also taught anyone nearby how to ride a horse, milk a cow, dig a post hole and plenty more. My mum taught us how to tie a long tie before we went off to school, probably cause the old man wasn't around - but that's another story.
He has the constitution of an ox, and a tireless work ethic. Will stay up late with company then be first one up in the morning to feed the animals or get on the roof in winter to attack an ice dam. Be careful if you gamely/drunkely agree to help the night before, as he will wake you up with a cup of tea and coveralls around 6am the next morning...
He will read every note and infographic in a museum. These visits become epic time-sinks... However I will sometimes call him rather than Google something. No joke.
Sure there was a plaque in our room growing up that said "children should be seen and not heard", but now he teaches the grandchildren to play music. He can play the cello, piano, and any wind or brass instrument including the sousaphone. Somehow I didn't get that gene.This is the big one though. Pops kept his own aged father back at home with him until the end, rather than in a home. That allowed for grandpa's comfort, for our two young boys to get to know him (crazy coot), and many opportunities for my dad to be driven crazy. I wouldn't do it any other way...