Thomas Samuel Williams II

My Grandpa was Thomas Samuel Williams II ("Tom"). He was born in 1919 and died in February 1990 aged 70, after being sick for a number of years. My Grandma (a subject for another post) survived him for a further 7 years.

I'm not too sure when the photo here was taken - it shows the typical Grandpa cheeky grin, barrel chest and distinctive white hair. He always referred to me as "his namesake" and I loved him a lot.

I remember him most vividly while spending holidays at his and Grandma's house in Rye, Victoria, right across from the back beach. He'd teach me how to play cards, or show me how to shoot tin cans with the air rifle, or let me use his telescope to check out ships, or I'd just sit with him and listen to the radio or watch the ABC on TV.

It seemed to my childhood mind that it took long hours to drive to and from Rye, often in the dark. Grandpa and Grandma didn't have many neighbours close by; the houses that were near were often unoccupied summer holiday houses. So around my grandparents' house and across the road was kilometres of sand dunes where my brothers and cousins and I would play for hours in the summer. There was also prickly coastal scrub to hide in, and crab shells and other assorted bits and pieces to find.

Us kids weren't allowed to go to the beach by ourselves (it's not that safe for swimming, but does have good rock pools to explore), but there was always plenty to do otherwise.

Later in life, Grandpa and Grandma moved to Noble Park and we used to see them a bit more often. Towards the end, Grandpa found it hard to get around and used a walking frame to come out of his room for lunch. He spent a lot of time in his room at the front of the house in bed. He was still good for a chat, or listening to music (I remember he often played me Fats Waller's "Big Feet" and songs like "Every Aussie boy needs a shed") or playing cards sometimes.

Sometimes I think about my Grandpa and how much I miss him, how I wish I'd got to know him more. But I'm very grateful to have had him at all.

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[Listening to: Harbour - Moby - 18 (06:28)]

2 Responses to "Thomas Samuel Williams II"

Nate said... Sunday, June 18, 2006 7:34:00 AM

Tom, pretty sure the photo was taken in Queensland, on 1 of their holidays.
Be thankful that you got to know him, I only have stories and faint memories(not trying to be nasty)

Thomas said... Sunday, June 18, 2006 6:33:00 PM

Thanks Bro, Mum may have more info on the photo (maybe she told me already, and I forgot!)

And yeah, I reckon you wouldn't have got to know him as much as I did...sorry. It makes me appreciate my childhood and the experiences I did get, and also surviving family (esp. Gran and Grandad).

For Grandpa and Grandma, most of the stuff I do remember is just impressions rather than definite moments.



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