A few notes on my Grampy before I start this interview. He is my mom’s father.
When he heard I was starting a blog, this is what he had to say:
One or three questions - what the hell is a blog? Do you have to clean up afterwards? You must remember to write using simple English for us seniors!!! And what on earth is MWAH??? Again – only simple stuff. Also what is text – I write using text, don’t you?
This is what he wrote to me to when he heard I was dating the Englishman:
A couple questions – I never had the good fortune of meeting Jocko -
What does he look like?
Does he have only one eye in the middle
Is his mouth very crooked
Do his ears hang very low
Does he have horns on his head
Is he 5′ 3″ and weigh 300 Lbs
Do his hands extend to his knees (when he stands)
1 Please tell us how you became a Sir.
I’ll save that for last as it gets lengthy.
2 What’s it like to be a Canadian? (I’m waiting on an answer to how he has dual citizenship. I have no clue how he got it!)
Being Canadian is not any different than an American (I’m both) Both countries are great countries with very similar customs, etc. They can’t explain Boxing Day any better than anyone else!!
How he became both: To fill in the blanks on citizenship – I was born in Canada of American parents and registered with the American consulate in Montreal. I was therefore a natural born American. When I moved back to Canada to buy the campground in Prince Edward Island (when he was much much older…inserted) I applied for permanent residency. The answer came back, you are still a Canadian having been born in Canada. I said OK thank you, and here I am with both. Of course I am trully worthy of being both!!!
3 You have recently begun traveling the world with your wife more than ever before. Do you think you appreciate travel more now, as opposed to in your younger years?
Cora and I have been doing a fair bit of traveling in the last 5 or so years. It’s no more or less appreciated now- everything (almost) in life hinges around how much money is available!! Believe me!! We have both enjoyed our trips immensly. Includes Australia, NewZealand, China, Peru, Part of Mexico, Canadian Rockies, Jolly old England (Wales, Scotland, etc), Essex and Dundalk.
4 You’ve also had many varied careers in your lifetime. Photographer, Pilot, Campground Owner… What did each of those careers fulfill for you? Why did you switch careers when you did?
I never could figure out what I wanted do do in life after I grew up, thus a lot of variety All of them were greatly enjoyed, but there comes a time for change and change is good!!
5 What gives you the most pleasure out of life? Has that changed over the years?
Pleasure - getting the most out of every day (I read that someplace!) Not taking anything or everything too seriously, good friends are real important and having a really great wife (finally) is the most important.
6 What is something left to do before you die?
Something left to do before I die – take a last breath!!
7 Any advice for the youngun’s out here? (this answer was stolen from an email he wrote to me in February 2008)
The most important ingredient for trying to figure life out – intellect or mentality. Never lose sight of brain power – with out that none of the above amount to much. You do seem to have a pretty good amount of all the above! I like your drive toward whatever it is that you end up with and doing. Just keep going and the right thing will come, but pay attention to the details – the devil is in the details someone smarter than little ole me said.
Now the good part – How I became a sir!!!
This has nothing to do with the common “sir” awarded in England, My “sir” comes from the Norwegian royalty way back in the middle 1800′s. Seems my great (or great great grandfather) fell in love with a farm girl named Anne Martha Vennes. His name was Jorgen Roel. He married Anne Martha in 1834. They lived on the Vennes Gaard which was Anne Martha’s family home. He changed his name to Vennes because her parents had had no sons to carry on the family name.
Jorgen’s father in law was extremely grateful, had some connection to the royal family, and it was agreed that the title “sir” could be used by Jorgen and then passed done to future heirs, oldest son to oldest son, etc. And I am one of those!!! Apparently no one used the title (a bit presumptious) much, but I may be a bit presumptious at times so I latched on to it. Thought it might earn me some respect!!! Doesn’t work! Oh well!!
Seems there are other versions of this story, but I’ll stick with this one!
Lastly – I am very proud of all my kids and most of my grand kids. Life is good!!!