Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Grandad

**I wrote this blog ahead of tonight's investigation. STORY AIRS TUESDAY ON 9NEWS AT 10.
WASHINGTON COUNTY – The family of an elderly man, who died in his house after originally refusing medical help for weeks prior, blames the county sheriff for not following a judge’s order to take the man to the hospital, 9Wants to Know reports.

Clarence Vogl resting peacefully at his house.
We took this picture 90 minutes before he died.
I sat in Clarence Vogl’s living room watching his daughters softly holding his hands. They were so proud of their father. It reminded me of my grandfather, Orrin Stransky. He died recently too.

While there was no controversy surrounding his death, he and Clarence Vogl had so much in common even if they never met.

Both men were strong and stubborn, and caring.

Clarence Vogl was still driving a tractor when he turned 90.

Grandad at the farm
Grandad, as we called my grandfather, went to work most days at our family’s farms and ranches well past his 90th birthday. 

Grandad was opinionated. He was crystal clear about his strong dislike for a certain political party. He didn’t hold back when dishing out opinions. But that also made him easy to talk to.

He had a passion for hard work. He built our family’s mountain cabin using his own sawmill.

When I moved to Denver, I lived with Grandad. It was just the two of us because my grandma died in 2004.

We spent evenings talking in the kitchen about everything imaginable.

“You kids don’t know how easy you have it,” he’d say frequently. He liked the basics. He’d choose a hand-written letter over a typed one and a slide rule over a calculator.

Grandad and me at my cousin's wedding
Those conversations will stick with me for the rest of my life. Grandad was inspiring. Clarence Vogl’s life of hard work was too.

We can all learn from our loved ones who won’t be around forever.