When I was a teenager, my cousin Greg was well known in this town. We didn’t go to the same high school, but every time his name came up, and I would say that he was my cousin, I always got the same reaction…”Greg is your cousin???” It was always said with respect, and I always felt proud to be Greg’s cousin. Greg was someone that you just knew you could count on. The girls all liked him, because he was cute, but treated them right…which wasn’t a combination you often saw in the lookers. We, like all teenagers in Casper, spent as many evenings as we could dragging the strip. For those who don’t know, that was driving up and down CY Avenue, looking for and hanging out with our friends. It was the thing we all did. Some of the kids that hung out there, got into trouble, but for the most part, it was just good kids, just hanging out. Not that the cops or the store managers thought so, whenever we stopped to visit. Still, the usual solution, even then, was to tell us to move on.
While Greg was well respected as a teenager, and in his adult life, there were a few things that went on as a kid that some might consider questionable. As I have written family stories, Greg has told on himself a little. You see, Greg was a bit of a cookie monster. He knew all the best places to go too. His quest for cookies took him to several key places around town. He might start out at our great grandma’s house. This was probably where Greg perfected his sweet talking skills. Greg has a smile that charms the ladies…or at that age, grandma and the aunts. I can see it now. He probably stopped over with a little bouquet of flowers and that big smile, and said something like, “I love you grandma!” Well, being a grandma myself now, I can say that those grandkids can get almost anything they want with a smile and and “I love you grandma” so I figure he had Grandma and the aunts eating out of his hand…or rather filling his hands and tummy with cookies. Once he got done at Grandmas, his travels might take him to Aunt Gladys’ house. He might say he was going to play in the park, but he knew exactly where the cookie jar was, and just how to sweet talk Aunt Gladys into giving him some of her cookies. Sometimes I wonder how many times Greg’s dinner was spoiled by his travels, but then, if he was like most boys, those cookies didn’t even make a dent in his appetite.
Like all kids, Greg grew up, had a daughter, and became a grandfather. Now he would get to see the other side of that coin of life. His girl, and his grandkids would be able to smile and melt his heart. There would be nothing that he wouldn’t do for them. That was just how it was going to be…for the rest of his life. When you think about it, Greg as a grandpa just isn’t that different than the Greg I knew as a teenager…that guy I was so proud to call my cousin, because he was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. What a great guy he was and is. Today is Greg’s birthday. Happy birthday Greg!! Have a great day!! We love you!!