A good-bye to Grandpa Bailey

My grandpa, Morris Everett Bailey, died this morning. Grandpa would have been 92 this April. He lived a good, long life in Nebraska as a husband, a farmer, a mason, a father, a grandpa and a great-grandpa.

My memories of my Grandpa are filled with jolly laughs, kisses sweet with chewing tobacco and a fiery spirit.

Morgana and I used to spend a couple of weeks in the summer with Grandma and Grandpa and during the year we would see them what seemed like about once a month. During our visits Gana and I would kick around the old dirt roads of Schuyler.



We’d help light the fire in the trash can to burn the trash away so only flickering ashes were left. We’d visit the neighbors and play with their kittens and dogs and poke at the minnows in Norvall’s broken down ice chest. We’d wander along the cornfields that edged our grandparents property.


We’d play kickball in the basement of their house. We’d help pick sour cherries from the cherry trees. We’d skip down to the local filling station and buy candy bars. We’d ride on three-wheelers with our cousins. We’d pull dusty bikes out of the basement and ride around the quiet streets of Schuyler.


We’d go swimming.


We’d have “dinner” for lunch and “supper” for dinner. We’d go down to the dimestore and play with the plastic toys and stop by Don’s Bakery on the way home. We’d get stuck waiting for the train to go by on the way home.


We’d play with the plastic fruit and gingerly touch the coveted “roadrunner” broaches Grandma kept in their bedroom. We’d look in the makeup mirror that would magnify in exponential measure any blemish or mark you had on your face. We’d play Uno. Grandpa’s hearing aid was constantly beeping. He would yell “Helloooo!” into the phone, followed by the high pitched chirping of the hearing aids he always wore. Once he fell asleep with the TV remote in his hand and just kept turning the channels and turning the channels in his sleep. It was hilarious. During the fourth of July we’d go down to the park and watch the fireworks and eat ice cream and drink pop.


At Thanksgiving Grandma would pull out a table so long that it stretched nearly the entire length of their living room and we’d scoop up handfuls of nuts and mints until we were sick (literally). During holidays and birthdays we’d unwrap presents and have cake or pie. Grandma always said she’d put bricks on our heads to keep us from growing up too fast. I wonder what Grandma and Grandpa would say about my girls now…

I always remember crying when we’d leave to go home. It was fun there. And we loved our grandparents.


Schuyler, Nebraska is a different place now. New families have moved in and the old farmers have died off and many of their kids and grandkids have left for bigger towns. The dimestore and Don’s Bakery are gone. Grandpa’s house provides a roof for another family, another generation. But for me Schuyler will always be the middle-America town that I used to love—a place of youth and innocence and fun during our summers as kids.

After Grandma died we’d take trips to the cemetery to see her tombstone. On Saturday, Grandpa will be laid to rest next to her. Finally they will be reunited after 12 long years apart. I’m happy for their reunion. As grandparents they could not have loved us more. We’ll miss you, Grandpa Bailey. Love you.

2 thoughts on “A good-bye to Grandpa Bailey”

  1. Sweet Sister,

    That completely captures our wonderful childhood with Grandpa and Grandma. Thank you for putting it all down…One thing I love to think about is how Grandpa always loved to eat ice cream treats, even though he wasn’t suppose to eat sugary goodies. When Dad would go to visit Grandpa, he would always go out and get Grandpa the really good ice cream he loved. I hope everyone treats themselves to to their favorite treat everyday…I’m positive it will help you live until you are 92!!!

    Thanks Brookie,

  2. I happened to come across this when I was trying to find info on Don’s Bakery as we were having a argument about Kolaches as well as my telling how Don’s warm donuts put Krispy Kremes to shame.

    I was from Columbus, but Grandparents and Aunt and Uncle lived there so the dime store and Don’s were ingrained in my memory as well as the old union pacific train depot where grandpa worked or Ice Cream at the Dairy Queen(?) just south of the viaduct on a weekend night. I use to love to visit Grandpa at the depot when I was young and wait for the train and from time to time get a ride on the local switching cars around.

    Grandpa passed away when I was about 15 and Grandma now is in Columbus for the last few years as is my Aunt and Uncle, but the photos and descriptions brought back a lot of wonderful memories from many years ago.

    The pain is still there from losing Grandpa so young, but luckily he filled my life with so many memories that it easily out weighs the pain.

    Again thanks for the great memories.

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