Hattie’s Hangout: The Pollard in Me
In loving memory of my grandpa Donald Raymond Pollard, whose earthly body has laid to rest, but eternal soul now rejoices with the Lord. January 14, 1929 – October 20, 2020.
The traces of our family root themselves into the knitting of our lives. It often shows in the way they look, what they value and how they live. The traces of my dear grandpa in me are characteristics I will always treasure and be honored to wear — what my grandpa used to say was “the Pollard in me.”
Standing at 6’3, the handsome Don, also known as Dapper Don on occasion, stood tall and assured. As I grew up, my grandpa always made note of my height and finished every time saying once again “that’s the Pollard in you.” Along with my long legs and long arms came the bright blue eyes that passed from my grandpa, to my mom and eventually to me.
But the Pollard in me goes way beyond the physical level.
I am reminded of the Pollard in me every time someone says my name, Hattie. Named after my grandpa’s mother Hattie May Pollard, I cherish the stories he would share about her — a strong woman who bore six boys while living on their farm in Missouri. She endured the hardships of the Great Depression while maintaining a house full of Pollard boys, a task I am sure was not always easy.
Her strong bones carried into my grandpa and I pray live on in me.
Never having finished his high school education, Don Pollard set out on an adventure out west with his brother Bill Pollard in 1947, paving a way for themselves and living life with great ambition. Although I never witnessed his adventures firsthand, my grandpa’s stories told with such joy and detail made me feel like I was there. Where there was Don Pollard, adventure was sure to follow.
Don Pollard was a master at storytelling, especially in the later years of his life. Sitting at the table for hours remembering his time in the army, childhood on the farm and adventures out west made for some of my most treasured memories. As I embark on a career in sharing people’s stories through writing, I know it’s the Pollard in me that understands why we must value the stories we have to share and the lessons we must learn from them. I only hope I am as good at sharing stories as he was.
If you knew Don Pollard, you knew how well he could work a deal. Starting at an early age, he sold fruits, vegetables and animal furs to town locals, opening his own checking account at the age of 10, which is one of my favorite stories. He was the hardest worker I think I will ever know, owning his own business for 60 years in Denver, Colorado and finally retiring at age 85. We often joked that grandpa was too old to retire.
Strapping on his boots and breaking sweat day-in and day-out was second nature for Pollard, and he loved to do it. He taught our family to value hard work and to live with a spirit that never gives up on opportunity. When I face challenges, I know it’s the Pollard in me that gives me the courage to work heartily as for the Lord. Most importantly, it’s the Pollard in me that has been taught to know and love the Lord.
Don Pollard led his family in faith through prayer and perseverance, which trickled down through his children and grandchildren. The faith my grandfather lived on this earth gives me much joy knowing the eternity in heaven we get to share together.
When I choose to live life boldly and courageously for the Lord, I know why. God’s gift of family, grandfathers in particular, is something I will never stop praising him for, and it’s the Pollard in me that knows why giving God all the glory is one of our sole purposes in life.
Troutman is the Editor-in-Chief. Follow her on Twitter at @hattrout.