It is to be considered, when cutting or placing a gem, the unique qualities of the gem itself. How shall it be cut so that it will reflect in the light? What shape will bring out the most sparkle? What will make this stone stand out among the rest? How shall it truly shine? Such are the questions that I imagine goes into the creation of a piece of art.
I remember when I was a kid; I went on a road trip with you from Miami to Iowa. Before leaving I was playing by a large window, and you were talking to me.
“Once I looked outside the window and saw a waterspout.” You said.
“What’s a waterspout, Grandpa?” I said.
“A waterspout is a like a tornado at sea.”
“What happens if a tornado hits something?” I asked.
“It rips it apart.”
“Then what happens if a waterspout hit something?”
“Markie, think about what you are asking.”
I thought for a moment, looked out at the ocean, then turn back and answered.
“It rips it apart?”
You nodded and I went back to my game.
“Think about what you are asking” …There’s a “gem” for you.
A moment of polishing, of refining, that has continued to influence me today. Here’s a few other “gems” I remember. “Mare’s tail clouds usually mean rain,” We Californian’s learned that during one July visit. “Don’t drink an entire glass of milk before dinner or you won’t finish your dinner.” I learned that in our cross country travel. I also learned “Try your fried chicken drumstick before asking for ketchup .” I don’t quite remember why I needed ketchup for my fried chicken, but I do distinctly remember your face when I asked.
I remember learning how the whirlpool near Niagara Falls was created, or about trenches at the bottom of the ocean, or you telling me and Elisa to be calm during an earthquake, the perfect way to cook a steak, and you being the calming voice on the other end of the phone when I needed it. But, what I remember most is that whenever I have a question… you have an answer, or a comment, or you have…
“Think about what you are asking, Markie” which in turn makes me look things up, makes me research… makes me think.
A little bit of polishing that has stayed with me ever since, something that has made me a better writer and an altogether better person.
It’s not only me.
Seeing the wonderful people my brothers, my mom, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my cousins kids…pretty much everyone you’ve come in contact with…I see more Gems by Jack.
Each sparkling in the light because they were made to do just that by someone who put the time, effort and patience into each one of us.
Thank you Grandpa. I miss you.
That one guy from ENCORE! on ABC. NYC based Writer/Actor/Storyteller. Theatre Maker. Husband. Bad Hombre. Cat Taunter.