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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Granddaddy

Just inside our front door hang two works of art by Thomas Connally Guerrant, Jr. known to friends as TC and to members of our family as Granddaddy.

My father-in-law's oil painting Whale Boat has always been one of my favorites. Shown beneath it is an incredible half-model he did of the Privateer Snap Dragon.

Click on image for a closer view of Whale Boat

On what would have been his 97th birthday, our thoughts today have been about this amazing man. He was a true southerner and the best story teller I've ever met - probably due in part to the fact his mother, Ada Edmonds Mapp Guerrant, was a published poet and writer.

Although he possessed an incredibly quick wit and great sense of humor, Granddaddy was also extremely tender-hearted. He felt things very deeply and with great gentleness.

Physical reminders of Granddaddy are everywhere in our home - from the masterful furniture he built, the decoys he carved, the sculpture and paintings he created to the stunningly beautiful photographs he took of his children when they were little. We treasure them all.

As well as being a member of the American Society of Marine Artists, this Navy veteran was a lover of water and sailing. Over his lifetime, he built six wooden boats.

Granddaddy sails one of the six boats he built.

Granddaddy also served as keeper and protector of family history. His children, Betsey, Tom and my husband Bill have been able to gain much insight by reading correspondence exchanged between their parents during WWII while TC served in the Navy. These letters, scrapbooks and photo albums are irreplaceable. In this cyber age, I wonder how much history is being lost because the written word is being so easily erased.


Frying Pan Shoals
Collection of Matthew and Suzie Guerrant


Thomas Connally Guerrant, Jr.
January 26, 1911 - August 5, 2002


Granddaddy had a profound effect on all who knew him. He was loved and is missed. I was blessed to have known Granddaddy for over 30 years. My life was so enriched because of him.

We salute you, sir.


Photo Credit: Bill Guerrant

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