MIAGD: make it a great day
“Grandpa CooCoo? Why’d you call that old man that name?”
Standing in front of Leesons Department Store in Elwood, painting windows for the Panther Band’s trek to the Indiana State Fair, fellow band member, Phil Lynch, chastised me for calling an old man, “CooCoo.”
When I was a baby, Grandpa Garrett would carry me to his hanging cuckoo clock, wind it so the bird would make an appearance, and he would echo the sound.
As I learned to talk, it was only natural that my great grandparents, John William Garrett Clary and Mary Belle Jones Clary, would affectionately be dubbed Grandpa CooCoo and Grandma CooCoo.
I explain the story to Phil who seemed to pardon me after learning the facts.
John William Garrett Clary was born just outside Elwood Indiana on August 31, 1898, The fourth son of John William Clary and Mary Frances Noble Clary.
Of all my great grandparents, I knew this great grandfather more than the others since he lived only a few blocks away after retiring from farming in 1966.
Great grandparents, for the most part, or generally quite older and not as much fun. That definitely was not the case in my life.
Grandpa Garrett was never one to shirk practical jokes, a good laugh, a good story, and even a playful wrestling match. You could not stand within a few feet of Grandpa Garrett without him poking you, initiating a playful round of wrestling.
The Grandpa CooCoo stories are timeless, and endless. He was a treasure, and an inspiration for role modeling how to live a full, generous life, abundant in laughter and fun!
Happy birthday, Grandpa CooCoo!
- Darin Jolliffe-Haas
- Diana Barmes Haas
- Donna Clary Barmes
- John William Garrett Clary