I have always wondered what it would be like to have dinner with my grandfather, Leslie Sears. I know that he held me when I was an infant in his house on Cape Cod in 1952 when he was 60 years old but that was the last time he ever saw me. Our family moved to Germany as part of the US Army Occupation Forces and Grandpa died in 1954. At dinner with Grandpa I would probably ask about his time in prep school as a baseball player before he went off to MIT in Cambridge. His years at MIT in the beginning of the 20th century must have been amazing. He had attended high school on Cape Cod and prep-school at East Greenwich Academy in Rhode Island. The academy was a Methodist boarding school and helped prepare him for college. At MIT he was also on the baseball team and the chess team.
Grandpa left MIT early when his father died in 1914. That must have been very traumatic but the training he received at MIT served him the rest of his life. Grandpa surely had some stories about his service in the US Army Engineers building small gauge railways in France during WW I. I am sure he would tell me about his days at the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad from 1924 – 1931 where he was surveyor and resident civil engineer at a salary of $46 per week. I would be proud to tell him that just like him, I was a Registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. My specialty was electronics where his was railroad stations, shops, roads and bridges but the “knack” of people with engineering skills was certainly passed down from grandfather to grandson.
Grandpa finished his career working for the Metropolitan District Commission where he was involved with work in the Blue Hills and along the Charles River including the Esplanade and the Hatch Shell which was dedicated in 1940. Arthur Fiedler was conductor of the Boston Pops then and I am sure Grandpa could regale us with stories about his conversations with Fiedler as that project was underway. Maybe we would even hear about one of Fiedler’s famous fire truck rides as an Honorary Captain of the fire department.
I am sure Grandpa was a proud fisherman and also enjoyed automobiles and I know that cribbage was a favorite pastime of the family so those stories would also probably be among those told at dinner. And finally any baseball player would be proud to call the Red Sox his team. Please Grandpa, tell me one more story about going to the games at Fenway Park.