I interviewed my grandfather in my home, he often drops by to say hello every other day or so. He usually is the one that is asking if he can do anything for us! I had told my grandfather to stop by for a few hours, and he ended up staying and chatting long after I had all the information I needed. I talked with him after his lunch and his errands, from 2:00PM to 4:40. I interviewed him in our living room, where he always finds himself at home when he visits. He usually plops himself down on the couch and asks “What’s happenin’ gang?” It was a chilly day outside, so we stayed inside, though my grandfather loves to take walks and get out and about when he can. What makes his life so rich is the stories and experiences that he told me about. He has encountered most everything that life has to offer and always has a story for every occasion.
Mr. Rankin is in extremely good health considering he has lived almost a century. He experiences arthritis flare-ups and the occasional flu, but nothing more serious than a regular visit to the doctor can fix. He has worn corrective glasses for 50 years, but his vision has worsened the past few years as he had been dealing with cataracts. In 2013, he got corrective surgery and is currently seeing better than he has in years. He still drives and is a safe and cautious driver. He was a driver education teacher for most of his career and knows the importance of safe driving. He does not like to drive at night or in questionable weather conditions due to his corrective lenses, but is comfortable driving in the daytime.
Growing up, my grandfather worked and lived on a farm. This lifestyle led to a strong, healthy body and mind that he retained throughout his adult life. The first real health complication my grandfather experienced was a heart attack in 1978 when he was 56 years old. He fully recovered and did not experience another heart issue until 2004 where he had a triple bypass that also led to the discovery of an aneurysm. He had a stent put in below his kidneys that helped blood flow and prevent the aneurysm from rupturing. He has not experienced a problem with either the bypass or the aneurysm since and goes for regular checkups with his cardiologist. He was fitted for hearing aids in 1996 to aid in hearing loss due to presbycusis. My grandfather also fully recovered from prostate cancer in 1998, when he was 76. With each of his health complications, he has made a full recovery and bounced back stronger than he was before. My grandfather has lived through almost nine decades and has experienced many changes through his life and to his own life as well. He told me about how his family and friends have changed through the years. He said that he always had someone to talk to growing up because he had five brothers, and five sisters. Working on the farm took a lot of his free time, so his friends were his family. As he grew up, he entered the army and made many friends through the travels he made all over the world. When he settled down in Waynesboro, PA to teach, he made even more friendships to last a lifetime. He said,