He was a thin and muscular guy who survived five years of war, built his own house, broke with his family of origin to marry his wife, with whom he had raised three children.
The most exciting for me fact about my grandfather on my father's side is that he could forge complexly shaped cylindrical metal water vessels with precise volume needed, without any detailed calculations on paper. Maybe that could explain I was good in stereometry and technical drawing in school.
Under his guidance, I new letters at 2, and I could read by 4. We also played chess since I was 6 or 7.
He could be calmly instructive and methodically violent in silence.
He was always working on some new projects, getting various gigs in addition to his main jobs.
- He was a gardener who provided his family with most foods, even through the winter. He cared about multiple fruit trees, berry bushes, a vegetable garden, and a potato field. He dried the fruit pieces under the sun, made jam with his wife next to the kitchen building, and saved tubers, pumpkins, and root vegetables underground in the garden house. I loved the cherries, raspberries, apricots, pears, apples, tomatoes and sweet peas the most, and helped him to gather fruit from the tall trees with his special tools.
- Part time, he was a blacksmith. He had an extra building on his property with all the tools to deal with metal, he taught me some of it. He made famously sharp knifes with incrustated handles. The blades were crafted out of some kind of dark metal, not stainless steel, so they required some special care to prevent rusting. Looking at the bright orange molten defined my love to all metal things, I even wanted to become a jeweler after high school (unthinkable in my family). But most of the money in blacksmithing my grandfather made by making custom aluminum rain captures.
- He played music on his accordion at events. When he played at weddings, I sometimes sang for him, and as far as I remember, those were only three same songs each time. I still remember them, they were all about love: in the first one the guys was so much in love that the Earth was spinning and he wanted to still her, and in the second - the girl, who were singing to her lover by a river. The third one was an old Ukrainian folk song of a ravishing beauty about separation in love.