Cortney S. Grissom
2013FA-ENGL-1301-71036: Composition 1
29 October 2013
Be Better Than Me
My grandfather Earsery told me before he died, "Cortney, don’t be like me, be better than me!" that comment struck me as strange, as I was simply walking into the kitchen to get tall glass of lemonade paying my grandfather no attention. I later on heard another father figure in Carl Gant utter similar words to me as I worked alongside him in my professional life. Years have passed since these events occurred; however, as I continue to grow as an adult and man, I know now those words represent a gift of both wisdom and warning.
During my upbringing in Louisiana I was taught that carrying the surname “Grissom” carried a certain amount of responsibility. A Grissom, isn’t allowed to say “fo” in place of the word “four”, nor is a Grissom allowed to present oneself in any way that would shame the family. Some family members felt the standards of my grandfather where too high, but I had no problem keeping up with the rules and regulations of life in a military home. Looking back on my teenage years, I’ve come to realize my granddad was a sculpture and I was a rough natural stone that would one day be his masterpiece to carry on the name “Grissom”. A trip to the gas station would become a exercise in memory recall, “What color was the shirt of the gas station worker?” or “How many buttons were undone on that woman’s blouse behind you in line?”, my grandfather would ask on the way home. Activities for the local handyman, such as changing the oil in the car, or repairing the lawn mower became weekend lessons in life for me, and failure was not an option in Professor Grissom’s classroom. Over the next three years I watched the strongest man I’ve ever known slowly fade away to prostate cancer, but even in his final moments he never stopped teaching me. “Hell Cortney, I’ve shown you how to be able to survive in this world, but gonna have to find out who you...