#52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Strength

My maternal grandfather, Hoyt Cook, was a talker. That’s probably why I tell many stories about him in this blog, because I heard his stories often when I was growing up.

One of the stories he shared was about how he built up his strength. He said he was a slight boy, and one day, he made up his mind to build some muscles. When he left the farm to go to school, or wherever, he passed an anvil. He said he’d stop and pick up that anvil ten times, then continue on his way. On the trip home, he’d stop again and lift that anvil ten times.

He grew into a strong and athletic man, often playing or coaching school or community sports.

Both my parents were also very strong, though not particularly muscular. I don’t think they did anything in particular to build up their strength, like Pap-pa did.

Me, I’ve always been a weakling. I never found the motivation to work at building muscle, and I was certainly never athletic. I tried out for a school gymnastics team once, but all I remember was being asked to bounce up onto the vault, which I couldn’t do. One year, in middle school I was doing fairly well at tennis (at least I felt good about what I was doing), but a girl stole my personal racquet, and I took it back, and the gym teacher failed me. Thus ended my sports career.

Pap-pa remained active all his life. He fished, hunted, worked a garden until a series of strokes left him unable to go and do as he always had. It also robbed him of the ability to talk, which for a gregarious natural storyteller was the hardest ability to lose.

Hoyt Cook and team, 1958 Summer Rec Junior Champions. Photo scanned by Auriette Hahn Lindsey.

About Taminar

When I grow up, I want to make movies and write books. Now in my 50s, I wonder if I'll ever really accomplish the dreams of my youth. I have made two short films, one for a college film-making class, the other for an MTV-sponsored contest. I have written short plays that have been produced, and a few short stories and reviews that have been published. I also perform and direct for community theatre. My working life has included stints in local TV news, public relations, retail management and cashier, and for a couple of years, I made the rides go at Walt Disney World. I have two cats and a husband.
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1 Response to #52Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Strength

  1. Eilene Lyon says:

    Great photos and stories! I was a victim of theft in school, too. It never seemed right that the culprit got away with it. It’s like being victimized twice.

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