Grandparents' Life in Decatur
At Home with Hector, the German Shepherd
"I believe it would have been about 1964-1965 timeframe, [my grandparents] bought a house in Decatur near the intersection of Clairmont Road and Briarcliff Road. And that was actually not far from where I lived, so my grandparents were really only about six or seven miles away from me.
I remember there were times when, because my father worked downtown, and my mother worked also downtown, at the end of the school day, they told me that I had to walk over to my grandmother’s house, which would have been about a mile and a half from where I went to school. And a couple of clear images in my mind—I would come to the intersection of Briarcliff Road where there was a stoplight and a crosswalk, and my grandmother would be standing on the other side with her German shepherd, who was almost as big as her. And she would wave to me (waves). And the light would change, and I would come across, and we would walk back to their house.
For me, it was always kind of dark. I don’t know why. I don’t think that they opened the curtains in the kitchen. I remember playing ball with the dog, Hector. Hector was very smart. He had taught himself to play ball by himself. He would take a tennis ball and drop it, and catch it, and drop it, and catch it. My grandparents doted on this dog. And he would sit with them at the table, on a chair, for meals. So the three of them would be sitting around the table: my grandfather, the dog, and my grandmother. You know, the dog would just be sitting up there on his hindquarters at the table."