My Dad is collecting a history on his Dad. He asked me to write something.
Byron J Anderson
by Kristy Glass
Byron officially became my grandfather when I was around 12 years old, though he certainly took on the role much earlier, when I was around 7. I didn’t appreciate or understand BJ for many many years. His manner was on the formal side, though he was quick to laugh when appropriate. When you entered his personal space, his focus was on you. He was never distracted by television or electronics (unless it involved a lesson in CB radio). His interests were vast: music, scouting, gardening, leather works, business, the gospel and beyond.
As we both grew older I learned that his secret to youth was exercising his mind every moment of every day. He was passionate about teaching anyone who would listen about the Circle of Fifths. He loved to sing and inspire others through music.
His nose hairs always needed to be clipped, his glasses left permanent marks in the bridge of his nose, his skin was greasy and blotchy red and he could be found napping with his back flat on the floor, arms outstretched overhead in the next room. He repeated outfits within a week. When he came to visit he always wanted to help, fix, lend a hand.
I can picture him hearing a tune, closing his eyes and taking it in, taking a bite of food and really taking a moment to taste it before exclaiming: Ah! because of it’s deliciousness.
He trusted his family. He allowed us to explore and make mistakes and never doubted us. He let me borrow his truck, which I did not know how to drive on steep mountain roads (stick shift!), he let me loose in the garden to pick whatever I wanted, he handed over the microphone and he looked me in the eyes and empowered me with generosity, trust and confidence.
I remember him telling me once that he was color blind, but I do not doubt for a moment that his world was quite vivid.
BJ Passed away in 2008, but not before he made it to my town. We showed him around!