The Story of Grandpa's Lost College Football Helmet

Grandpa in his home with his football helmet

This past year our grandpa lost his wife of 52 years, our grandma. After giving it a lot of thought, our parents decided it would be best if grandpa moved out of his now-lonely house and into a rest home where he would have the company of others in his own age group.

Grandpa wasn't thrilled with this idea, but he realized the time had come and the move would be for the best. My brother, Bud, and I told him we would visit him every chance we got. Grandpa made mom and dad promise that he could take his prized possession with him, a full-size authentic football helmet from the college where he went to school. Mom and dad assured him that his football helmet would be moving with him.

Our family had a lot to do at grandpa's house to get ready for the move. Everything had to be sorted into what would go with grandpa, what would be thrown out and what would be sold at the yard sale that was being planned.
The day of grandpa's yard sale arrived and we were all there to help. Our Uncle Billy, mom's younger brother, was in town for a few days and he volunteered to help, too.

Oil Painting of a Yard Sale

The yard sale was way busier than we expected. There were cars and people everywhere. I guess that no one noticed when a man started talking to Uncle Billy and he and Billy then walked into the garage.

The sale went on until late afternoon and by then nearly everything that had been in the yard was gone. Dad went around to mom, Bud and me and Uncle Billy and collected all the money we had taken in. Dad counted it and we went in and told grandpa he had made more than four thousand dollars. Dad said he would deposit the money into grandpa's checking account for him.

Since all his furniture was now gone, grandpa spent the night at our house. The next day we would rent a truck, load up grandpa's remaining stuff from his garage and move him to his new home.

Grandpa moving
The move turned out to be easier than mom and dad thought it would be. By early evening grandpa was pretty well all moved in to his cozy new apartment in the home.

Mom was fixing up something in the kitchen, Bud and dad and I were watching TV and Grandpa was sitting in his big, old easy chair. We thought he had dozed off when his eyes suddenly got wide and he exclaimed, "Where is my helmet?"
Dad said, "Oh, I'm sure it's in one of the boxes we haven't unpacked yet". I jumped up and said, "Bud and I will find it."

Well, we emptied every box and no helmet. Everyone felt awful, and no one more so than grandpa, even though he tried to act like it was not that big of a deal.
That night when we got home mom got on her computer right away. "Where the heck do you find a full-size authentic college football helmet to replace your dad's?", mom called out to pop.

mom and the kids looking for a new football helmet

The words had barely left her mouth when she next exclaimed, "Wait, I found it -" Bud and I were watching over mom's shoulder when the website appeared. Wow, so many college football helmets!
She called out to dad to come and show her which helmet is like grandpa's. Dad moved the cursor around, hit a few keys and ... there it was! Grandpa's same football helmet. Dad couldn't believe what a low price they charged for grandpa's authentic helmet, AND free UPS shipping and no sales tax, to boot. I hadn't seen mom and dad this excited in a long time. Dad even made a point to show mom that the site sold NFL football helmets, too (hint, hint).

Well, mom ordered the helmet and it arrived just 3 days later! We all immediately piled into the car and headed for grandpa's new home. We didn't call ahead because, a) we wanted to surprise him and, b) we knew he would be there.
When we got to the apartment door, dad knocked and Bud and I stood behind him and mom. Grandpa took a while, but finally the door opened. You could see he was surprised to see all of us. Just then mom and dad stepped aside and grandpa could see Bud and I holding his football helmet. He actually got tears in his eyes as we handed his new football helmet to him.

The kids give grandpa his new football helmet

Well, we all went inside and visited for a while. It turned out that before Uncle Billy returned to the town he lived in he had confessed to grandpa that he had sold the football helmet to the man with whom he had gone into the garage. He had not known that the helmet was not to have been sold and had included the money for it in what he had given to dad.

I'll never forget the look on grandpa's face as we gathered later to leave - he holding firm to his beloved helmet. And I made a mental note to myself that, once I saved enough money, I would go back to and get a NFL team football helmet for my dad.

-- The End --

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