He did something in the shipyards, but I was too young to know what. Those times, in any event, had long passed. His hair was white and he had spectacles with thick rims, that is much of his appearance as I recall. It was hard to imagine the time in which he had worked; things around there were beginning to accelerate, melting into air and the past was exactly that; should he come back now he would recognise very little.
I learned much later that he sometimes visited the Chinese takeaway to talk about communism; he believed in an equally high standard of living for all, not death camps and suppression of the individual. If one man has a nice suit, all men must have a nice suit. His presence was not a political one for me, I was a child, he was someone who we visited. He greeted me on me and my brother's visits with a smile and a jig; "Not bad for 85 year old'' he'd say. He made us ice cream floats, slipping the ice cream out of those individual paper packets that ice cream used to sometimes come in. He was a vital man, there was something to him that made him exciting to be around. Although he had been educated to a low level by contemporary norms he was well read and informed, I came to learn in later years. He never had a child, that I learned too. What does that do to a person to be childless? What does that do to a person to have a child? Time passes and things happen regardless. I think he died in the same week as my grandma, but I could be mistaken. The exact details of one's life sometimes become muddled. An enigmatic figure in a bigger picture. Forgotten by many.