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.

8 comments

  • Beautifully written tribute Miss Hattie. I have always loved your name and live hearing it is a family name for you to cherish. Deepest sympathy to you sweetie. God Bless you always.

  • Dorothy Jean Johnson

    this is beautiful and he will be missed. God be with you all. Dottie

  • Suzanne S. Bufton

    Miss Hattie ,

    A lovely tribute to your exceptional Grandpa Pollard. He was that and a whole lot more.

    We so enjoyed being included in his and your Grandmother Pollard’s sharing of special occasions, dancing the nights away and wonderful conversations.

    May your future writings bring as much joy to others as they had to Grandpa Pollard.

    Best wishes,

    Suzanne and M. Richard Bufton

  • This is a beautiful tribute to “Grandpa Don” . Her love and respect for him is shown throughout. Her writing. He leaves quite the legacy for his family. Dear friend, Grita, I extend heartfelt sympathy to you as I have walked in your shoes and know what it is like to lose a mate. You had many years together and you were not only a loving wife, mother, grandma , but a nurse that took such good care of all his and your families needs. I admire you and the closeness of your family and the support you gave one another. Don will be missed, and I think of him walking with his walker up and down your lane. That will be missed by many. I want to send a memorial but would like to know your wishes. I’m sorry I’m late in sending my condolences but this move has been overwhelming. I intend to call you later on when life has more normalcy and then we can catch up on each other. I saw Katie’s notice on email about Don’s passing. I know you have strong faith and believe in the power of prayer. My new phone no. Is 701 532 1200. That’s how close I am, when you feel like talking. I will also send my memorial. Love and hugs to the Pollard family.

  • That was beautifully written and inspires me to share our family stories of our dear, hardworking predecessors with our children. Thank you, Hattie, for carrying on the Pollard in you and for the world to be the better for it!

  • Alice and Roger Studer

    Don was indeed a true American and wonderful friend. He had so many stories to tell and were enjoyed by his American Legion Breakfast group. Thank you for sharing him with us Greta. God Bless you and God Bless America!

  • What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather! Well written, Hattie!

  • What a beautiful tribute. God bless you and keep you in his loving care.

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