Yep, I Remember “Popsie” Grissom, mark grissom, chicago cubsThis Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day. It is one day set aside during the year, always on a Sunday, to honor and show much due appreciation to an incredible person…called our dad.

I have already shared with you many, many great stories about my dad in past blogs. I have told you a lot of great things about him and how much I love him and how much he means to me.

I could write from now until the Lord comes…and NEVER say enough great things about my dad. I have said very often, and will continue to say, my dad is a Saint!

However, I want to take this opportunity to share with you about another great dad and how much he meant to me.

Me, my dad Tom Grissom, and my grandpa Ira "Popsie" Grissom.

Me, my dad Tom Grissom, and my grandpa Ira “Popsie” Grissom.

I want to tell you a little bit about my dad’s dad…my “Popsie” Grissom.

My grandfather, Ira Grissom, and my grandmother, Edna Mae “Meemomie” Grissom had 7 children. They actually had 10 children, but three died at child birth.

My grandfather was a cotton farmer for most of his life. I have heard my dad tell many stories about “Popsie” and the farm and picking cotton and going to the cotton gin and being a great husband and an incredible father. And beyond any doubt whatsoever…the FINEST Christian gentleman you could ever meet.

The following are just a few stories that I can remember about my grandpa.

When I was a small boy, I can very plainly remember us going to visit my grandparents in Red Bay, Alabama, at least once a year — usually in the summer time when my brother and I were both out of school.

Back then it seemed like a very long trip from Chicago, Illinois to Red Bay, Alabama. It really was not all that long. But when you are stuck in the back seat of a car with a “big brother” that wants to hog your side of the seat…it is a VERY LONG trip! (Sorry, K.K., but you know I love you).

My grandparents lived in a very modest home in Red Bay. Nothing fancy. They did not have a lot of money.  They did not drive fancy cars. As a matter of fact, my grandpa drove a pickup truck. Manual shift truck, at that!

"Popsie" Grissom, suspenders and all.

“Popsie” Grissom, suspenders and all.

Whenever my grandfather would go anywhere, my grandmother would ride with him in the truck.

She did not ride in the passenger’s seat. She rode right next to him. Right by his side…in the middle of the seat. Just like two kids in high school that were dating.

Yep…I remember!

When we would arrive in Red Bay, the first thing I wanted to do was go out in the woods behind my grandpa’s house and shoot my BB gun.

You see, growing up in Chicago you never even thought about shooting any type of gun in your yard. It was a huge NO-NO!

To the best of my memory, my grandpa had a BB gun he let me shoot. He would set up targets for me and I would blast them away just like I was John Wayne himself! I also had a sling shot that he made for me one year. I loved to put small ball bearings that he gave me in that sling shot and knock the metal cans off the rail. I am 50 years old…and I still have that sling shot.

Popsie also had a 20 gauge shotgun and a 12 gauge shotgun.

There were rare occasions that he would load up my dad and myself in his truck and take us way out in the country and let me shoot that 20 gauge shotgun.

I thought I had died and gone to Heaven!

I vaguely remember shooting the 12 gauge shotgun one time. Pretty near blew my right shoulder off!

That was the last time I did that!

YEP! I remember!

Popsie had a “dipper” in the kitchen hanging right above the kitchen sink. Most of you know what a dipper is. But for the few that might not, it was a small bowl made of stainless steel that had a very long handle. It was a community dipper. It did not matter if you were a son, daughter, grandchild, neighbor, friend or the local preacher in town. When you wanted a drink of water at Popsie’s house…you used the dipper above the sink.

Water NEVER tasted as good as it did from that dipper.

YEP! I remember!

Every night, before we went to bed, Popsie led us all in a family prayer. We all gathered in the living room. Everyone found a place in front of a chair or a couch, kneeled down…and Popsie would pray Heaven down.

Please understand. This was not a “now I lay me down to sleep prayer”. This was a “we are going to stay on our knees and pray until Heaven comes down and glory fills our soul” kind of prayer. Many of the adults crying…(almost like I am about to do right now just thinking about those times).

Those prayers were incredible.

Yep! I remember!

In 1987, my Popsie prayed his last prayer on this earth…and his next prayer was in Heaven with my grandmother “Meemomie”, his children that had gone on before him…and a host of family and friends.

I think about him a lot. I think about one day, when my life has ended and I get to Heaven, a stately gentleman, wearing a Stetson hat and a pair of suspenders to hold his pants up coming up to me and saying…”Hello there Marky…I am Popsie.

And I look up in his beautiful eyes, give him a huge hug and say…….”Yep! I remember!”

Happy Father’s Day in Heaven, Popsie!

Happy Father’s Day here on earth, Dad! I love you so very, very much!! Thank you for the greatest Christian heritage anyone could ever ask for!

About Mark Grissom

Mark was born on the north side of Chicago in 1964. Raised a Cubs fan by his dad, he never had a chance in life. He moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1988. While he lives closer to Atlanta now, he will never be able to leave the religion of "Cubbie Nation." Baptized as a Cubs fan at the age of five, he has no choice but to live the remainder of his life here on earth in mediocrity at its best!


  1. Red Bay, Ala. … been there as a child; dipper … we used one ourselves at the back porch sink in Falkner, Miss., also when I was a child … the well water always “hit the spot” and sometimes was even pretty cold. Those days of our youth are long gone, but the memories remain … and hopefully, forever. Thanks for the look back, Mark. Nice job.

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