September 16th is my paternal grandfather’s birthday and now it will be my
maternal grandfather’s deathday. As there are no speakers
near I will fulfill the role.
Wayne Lehman Roth, who lived for 89 years from February 14, 1925 to
September 16, 2014, was a quiet man. His actions and words were chosen
carefully. He was precise. His life running his small print shop taught him
this. Long hours and hard work is wasted because of typos and small mistakes. A
love of letters and words was not just his job, but his character. Not long do
I remember him being separated from either a pun on his lips or a crossword on
his lap. That was his style. He wore suspenders long since out of fashion.
Correspondences were conducted on a typewriter. Smoking was done with a pipe.
He learned how to do something once and that was good enough. He tinkered with
model trains in that small row house of his. A house with no AC for those muggy
Bryn Mawr PA summers. He built Impressive vistas and intricate rail systems
which fought for room amongst the tools and paints of the basement. A busy life
to be sure yet time enough was found to be married for 60+ years. Time enough
for two children and their grandchildren and even a great grandchild. I never
saw him separated from my grandmother for long. Marriage to them was less a
contract and more a bonding of two people. His wife was an extension of his own
body and he cared for that just as much as his own.
To put it simply, he was a builder. Ink at work, tracks in the basement,
flowers in his garden, family any other time.
Perhaps he was not always this way, but I can only speak of the man I knew
for my whole life, which was only a fourth of his. I will never see my
grandfather again. No one will remember his name once I and am my kin are gone.
That is ok though. I will remember him and that will be enough. He never cared
for flashy things.
Told you they were inseparable.