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RyanB February 10th, 2006 07:10 AM

Some of my fondest memories as a child was to wonder when it would be my "turn" to go somewhere with my Grandparents. Each time I was told that we were going camping I secretly hoped that my Grandfather was going to bring the Dune Buggy. I can remember taking rides in the buggy into the green mountains. Finding old abandoned logging area's. I can remember standing up in the back, wind whipping at my face and having windburn for hours after.

I remember going to visit my Grandparents and I would immediatly ask if I could go out back. I would run outside and just walk around the Dune Buggy for what seemed like hours. I would inspect everything I could see and I would jump in (When nobody was looking!) and pretend I was driving. There were VW parts all over the place. Along side of the garage were transaxles and kingpin/balljoin front ends. I would marvel at all of this and want to "work" on it all.

As I grew up, my grandfather must have know about my major interest in his VW's. He probably also knew about my knack (or curse?) for taking everything apart. He gave me a frozen VW engine to take apart! I can say that I was in total bliss!!! I dont remember just how long it took me really. I just remember being in the garage, taking that thing apart piece by piece. Learning how they were put together. I found one of the pistons was frozen and as a jubilant kid I attacked that iron sleeve(with a hammer! haha) and broke it open. Then sat in amazement as I was able to spin the crankshaft and watch the conn rods moving in and out.

My 1st car was purchased for me (I saved the money) by my Grandfather. It was a Blue VW Beetle of course! Man did I have some good times in that car. I went through 3 engines and a number of different clutch's. I can remember limping the car over to my Grandfathers house a few times and him helping and giving advice. I had wanted to Baja it but I just could not afford the kit, and I didnt know how to weld.

Even after I had become a teenager and had cars of my own, everytime I would go over to my grandparents house I would always go out back to see the Dune Buggy. My Grandfathers shop was always an amazing place to go inside. See all the VW stuff and all the tools.

Sadly, as age progresses he was unable to continue working on his VW's and he eventually sold off the Dune Buggy. It had been my secret dream to have it, but again when he sold it off I simply couldnt afford to purchase it.

There are always things you wish you could have done when someone was still around. I know I asked many questions of my Grandfather but I feel that I could have spent more time with him. He had an amazing amount of knowledge about VW's since he had been putting together buggies for years. Sure he was old school and old fashioned, but really that was probably part of his charm.

My Grandfather was my inspiration to get into automotive things and specifically VW cars. I graduated from high scool with honors in automotive and took my high school to the Plymouth AAA troubleshooting contest in 1990 where we took 6th in the state of CA. All that, because of my grandfathers inspiration.

I will miss you terribly GrandPa.

R.I.P. Alfred Munson

I love you, Ryan.

vwfanatic February 10th, 2006 07:18 AM


be glad you had that time and that relationship with your grandfather. i wasnt able to, as my mother's father was in northern germany, remarried and wanting nothing to do with his previous family. some of the stories i have heard about him make it tough to have never met him, he was an awesome artist (i have a few of his paintings and inlaid wood pieces) and was a real jack of all trades (installed electricity in the entire small town where they lived in czecoslovakia and ran a motorcycle shop at one point as well).

so you have some awesome memories to help keep your granpa alive. he will never really be gone

purplemyth February 10th, 2006 07:30 AM

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'>so you have some awesome memories to help keep your granpa alive. he will never really be gone[/b][/quote]
like he said, you have some great memories of your 'inspiration' .
he will always be with you, every time you pick up a bug part or a tool, you'll know he's right there watching.

thoughts and prayers to you and the family Ryan

jimw February 10th, 2006 07:36 AM

Being a grandfather myself i read your tribute and was touched ! All grandparants could
only wish their grandchildren have as fond of memories as you have of them.
He would be proud !!!
Grandpa, Jim [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/bowdown.gif[/img]

KK916 February 10th, 2006 07:42 AM

He sounds like he was an awsome guy and a big influence. Like these other guys have been saying just keep your memories of him strong and he'll always be with you.

bigguy February 10th, 2006 07:44 AM

its better to share good memories with others then knowing your grandfather is an ass and makes fun of your size rather then getting to know the real you.enough about me .make sure the kids and others know the things you have learned from him and hopefully they can be intuned to make memories of there own as well to pass on.

Ray-Dean February 10th, 2006 08:00 AM

Sorry to hear that man. I only "knew" one of my grand parents. The others passed before I was born or old enough to have remembered them. My fathers mother passed 16 years ago and I still miss her. Not as much as I used to, but I guess that comes with time. Hang in there man. It's hard to lose a hero.

dt113 February 10th, 2006 08:02 AM

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(bigguy @ Feb 10 2006, 10:44 AM) Quoted post</div><div class='quotemain'>
to make memories of there own as well to pass on.

I also have great memories! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wub.gif[/img] As long as you have those, he will always be with you!

I am a granpaw now ---- hope my grandkids remember me, with the same loving memories.

My prayers and thoughts, to you and yours.


vw56ovalchick February 10th, 2006 08:06 AM

Memories last forever Ryan. Use his passing as a bigger inspiration to finish your project. Sorry for your loss Ryan. Danielle

walt February 10th, 2006 08:20 AM

Being a Grandpa myself, I too was very touched by your tribute to your Grandpa.

I was always terrified of my Grandpa because he was a mountain of a man. He was a farmer, trucker and a steel worker. I can remember his hands as rough as 36 grit sand paper. I didn't get to really know him until his very late years but he alway had a huge influence on me. The memory that stands out in my mind the most is how he took care of his tools. You wouldn't dare borrow one of his tools unless you asked him and if you didn't return that tool cleaned and in it's proper spot, there would be hell to pay. My love for tools is due to my Grandfathers influence. He always told me to buy the best tools and take care of them and they will alway take care of you. Just a few months before he died, I was visiting him and he told me a story about one of his tools. There was one particular job that he could do much faster than anyone else in his shop and nobody new how he did it so fast. He told me to go into the top drawer of his dresser and find a stubby Craftsman 7/16" box end wrench. I retreived it and brought it to him. He told me that it was that tool that allowed him to get to a bolt in a way that nobody else could and that's how he did the job.

When he died I went to pay my resects to him at the mortuary. I took that 7/16" wrench and slipped it in his pocket and he was buried with that tool and his secret.

I can only hope that my grandkids love me the way I loved that man.

Rest in piece Grandpa Hammond

hotrodheb February 10th, 2006 10:53 AM

I am sorry for your loss Ryan. From what you wrote, he was an awesome man and roll model.

I used to love listening to my Grandfather talk about when he owned a gas station and sponsored a couple of the local sprint car drivers.

Hebster52 February 10th, 2006 11:17 AM

Sorry for your loss. Me too have wonderfull memories of my Grandfather. He was and still is in my mind everytime I try something new. His motto was "You can do anything, and if you dont you can always learn it!" He was my biggest inspiration when I was building our new house [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wub.gif[/img]

Charise your memories of him in your heart! [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wub.gif[/img]

FlatFourVW February 10th, 2006 11:59 AM

Ryan, truly sorry for your loss. I'm glad you have fond memories. Continue to think them. I'm not telling you anything you don't know already.

georgiaboy February 10th, 2006 12:33 PM

Sorry for your tremendous loss,but his positive influence will be around for you become a grandfather in the future his influence will really show.god bless.

speedfreak February 10th, 2006 12:38 PM

Sorry for your Loss Ryan. I too had a grandpa that was a great influence to me. He was a logger, pinkerton, resturaunt owner and a farmer. that man taught me patience and understanding, and how to laugh at life. He was my best man at my wedding and always the life of the party. Memories will be with you for a lifetime, make them great ones and influence others as your mentors influenced you.


btrghia February 10th, 2006 06:37 PM

sorry for your loss. This year I lost My grandmother and my Vw mentor Doc he was a great guy and friend I miss him alot.

Steve February 10th, 2006 09:47 PM

Ryan, your grandpa sounds like he was a great man. When I lost my Grandma Edwina in '93, I had a rush of memories as well. Those happy memories were the only thing that kept me together. I still think of her everyday and still smile on those memories. Tough as nails, old world Polish woman, with a heart as big as the sky. I love her so much and I miss her constantly.

Keep those memories close to you Ryan. They will get you through the toughest times.

I'm so sorry for your loss, Ryan. Just remember that he's going to still be with you forever in your heart.


Turbo Punk February 11th, 2006 05:15 AM

Never having known either of my grandfathers and only one of my grandmothers I tend to look at the relationships others have with theirs. It amazes me when people will have nothing to do with their grandparents or vise versa. There is SO much the different generations could teach and learn each other. I hope and pray that I can be the type of person to my daughter and someday (years and years from now) my grandkid/s that your grandfather was to you.
The memories you have of him should be charished and passed along to keep them alive. Let your kids and grandkids know what a great man he was and what an insperation he was to you. Someday I'm sure they will look at you in much the same way.
I'm so very sorry for your loss and I thank you for sharing your grandfather with us. He was a very special man and I'm certain he is very proud of you.
Take care brother, ....Tim

RyanB February 11th, 2006 07:37 AM

Wow. Thank you all so much for the well wishes. It helped me allot to be able to write down my feelings as I was in a state of shock and denial until I wrote that.

Course now having written that, my brother saw it and passed it on to my mother and now the family wants me to speak at his Service on Thursday in Petaluma. I am not a good public speaker... Eeek!

Thanks again my freinds,

God bless.


speedfreak February 11th, 2006 07:46 AM

Ryan, don't look at it as public speaking, look at it as an honor to be asked to talk at a wonderful mans funeral. you can do it Bro, just think about him and he'll be right with ya helping you through. [img]style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif[/img]


Cat Box February 11th, 2006 08:29 AM

i am only 30 but hope that i will become such a great icon to my 2 little ones kids one day that they would write something telling just how much i meant to them as yfor what you have done here.

sorry for your loss, Peter B.

Behemoth February 11th, 2006 09:13 AM

Sorry for your loss. But man those memories sound great.

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