In Memory of Joe C. Cribbs

My grandfather died last Thursday and my family and I attended the funeral on Monday.  My mother, later, was kind of upset that the preacher didn’t really tell any stories about him other than just that he was an old, sick man.  The preacher mostly just talked about how this was a sad time and we should take comfort in each other and in Jesus.  It was almost like he had a standard funeral speech and it wasn’t really about my grandfather at all.  There was so much more to him than just an old man who was very sick.

Now, I really never knew him, so I don’t have any of my own stories to tell about him.  But my mother told me a couple and I think I can remember a couple things other people said at the funeral.  So, I thought I’d write those down here and then give everybody a link to the page so they can share these stories and add their own (or correct me if I’ve gotten it wrong).  I thought this might be a nice way for people to remember and share their stories about him.

Just to make it easy, I’m going to refer to him as Joe.   That’s because he’s Grandpa or Granddaddy to me and my cousins, Daddy to my mom and Barbara, etc.  This will make it simpler.  I’m also paraphrasing.  I can’t remember well enough to quote exactly what people said, word-for-word, but I think I can get the stories right anyway.

Mom (Vickie Holland) said:

Joe wasn’t perfect.  He was hard on his kids and they were afraid of him.  But he was Daddy to them and they loved him anyway.  She remembered every year there was a fair they’d go to.  It was the highlight of their year and they’d save up all their allowance for two months to have enough to spend on the rides.  But if Joe ever found out he’d say, “I don’t know why you want to waste your money on that.” and it would always just squelch their excitement.  So, they learned never to mention that they were saving for it and just enjoy it when it came.

Well, she remembered one time they were out of town and they went to an amusement park.  Joe was standing there watching them having fun on the rides.  Every time they’d get off he’d ask them if they liked the ride and, if they said yes, he’d give them some money to go ride it again.  Mom said she was thinking, “I like this Daddy.  What happened to my Daddy?”  because it was so uncharacteristic of him.  He just kept giving them money all night and they had a wonderful time.

The preacher was talking about how Joe had played the guitar.  There was a song he used to mostly play that they played at the service called “Wildwood Flower”.  The preacher made it sound like Joe just played his guitar all the time and he loved music.  Vickie said that he was actually very shy about it.  He did like to play and sometimes even sing, but not out around folks.  Mostly just in his bedroom at night. He didn’t play many songs, but that song was one that he particularly liked and was good at.  It was a lively, happy song.

She said he’d gotten that guitar as a gift from his kids and her Uncle Dick.  Dick had all the kids chip in money for the guitar, but really, he paid for it mostly.  But that way it could be a gift from the kids to their daddy.  He did that because he knew the whole Cribbs family was kind of musical and Joe could play by ear a little, but didn’t have an instrument.  He thought Joe would like it, and he did.

Jamie Cribbs said:

They went out fishing and stuff a lot, but what he remembered was the odd things Joe would do that seemed out of character.  Like he’d never play around with stuff.  He’d always say, “If you play with it, you’re going to break it.” and he was always especially careful about his trucks.  But one time he’d gotten a new truck and him and Jamie were out driving.  Well, Joe decided to try out the truck, really put it through it’s paces.  And he was driving around corners, making it slide, driving fast, just playing with his truck.  At one point he slid it completely sideways on the road.  That was so much fun and it’s one of the memories that stands out for Jamie.

B.J. Cannaday said:

She was wearing some high boots that were kind of scuffed at the toes.  She said that Joe had never liked anything she wore and was always complaining about it.  But when she’d worn these boots, he’d said, “Those are some nice boots.”  So, even though she’d scuffed them up since and they weren’t in as good a shape as she’d like, she wore those boots to the funeral because Joe liked them.

Lorene Cribbs said:

Sometimes people would call on the phone asking for Loraine (mispronouncing her name) and Joe would always say something like, “Loraine doesn’t live here, but Lorene is here.”  He wanted people to get her name right.

Now, there’s either a comment box at the very bottom of this page or (if this page is showing several posts) there’ll be a link under this post saying “3 COMMENTS” (or whatever number) and, if you click on that, you can post there.   I’d like everybody to add a comment below and share their own Joe stories so that everyone can remember him as he was in life, not just as he was when he was near his death.

If anyone missed the obituary, it can be found here.