Something we really want to do more of is share more elderly portraits and share their love stories. Here is one from Ryan Weeger of his Grandpa John Drew.
As written by Ryan:
My Grandpa John Drew was born July 15th, 1915 in Troy, New York. His youth was spent in New Jersey, where at the age of 12 he learned to drive a truck to deliver blocks of ice to neighbors and families for their ice boxes. Later serving in World War II, he was an onshore anti-aircraft gunner in Pearl Harbor during the attacks in 1941. He later spent 40 years working for Trans World Airlines and traveled the world twice, visiting hundreds of countries which fueled his love for travel and exploration.
My Grandma Jan passed 7 years ago. Happily married for almost 60 years. Grandpa continued to live independently in the home where they raised their three children in Los Angeles. He enjoyed donating his time and yard sale expertise at the local church, helping them sort and price their donations. He is now 98yrs old, and until a few months ago he was still living in his home by himself in LA. Recently he fell and decided it was time to make a change in where he was going to live, and moved into an assisted living home in Orange County, CA near my parents.
Nearing the 100-year mark in a life filled with dedication and love for his family, living life the way he wanted, are a few reasons that have me wishing I had began photographing my Grandpa Drew sooner. Either way I will take what I can get, and every time I see him I try to take photos of him and his activities. I am not sure if he enjoys it as much as living on his own; his freedom is cramped, but he is making the best of it and adjusting. I do know that what makes him happiest, is when family is around. He flashes that charm and devilish grin, pours himself a Jim Beam and 7 Up, and shares memories and laughs with us.
This man has been an incredible role model for me with his sense of self and integrity, and his ability to live life in the moment. Everyone is a fan of John Drew, there isn’t anyone who knows him that doesn’t love him. My hope is that my small glimpse of photos I am sharing shine a light on this person I love so much.