There was a difference in what we called him — Dad, Grandpa, husband, uncle and employee. There was no difference of how people saw him: A nice gentleman who had a huge heart, loved animals and his jobs at amusement parks.
I knew him as Grandpa Cleveland. My name is Benjamin Texas. Benjamin came from my mother’s great Uncle Ben. My middle name, Texas, is unique up in Syracuse, NY. In fact, it might be even an unusual name in Texas. My mom chose Texas for her love of where she and her father, Grandpa Cleveland, were born and raised.
I loved my Grandpa’s sense of humor and his passion for animals and his job. I unfortunately wasn’t around to see him in action at his amazing and fun jobs, which is really too bad. From the stories that I have heard, thought, it was really exciting.
I love to listen to the stories my Mom will tell me about when she was young and her and my Uncle Trey would go with my Grandpa to his job. That was probably really fun because not only did they get to ride all the rides for free, but they also knew that there was at least one really nice gentleman, my Grandpa, looking after them.
My Grandpa also told many funny jokes. When I was young, I had teddy bear slippers on, and he would always say to me ‘Ben, how many times do I have to tell you not to walk around in bear feet!’ It was and still is my favorite joke.
I am very sad for his loss, as are all of you. My Grandpa is probably running an amusement park up in heaven, making even heaven a better place.