Most often, he’s standing in front of a microphone at a family party singing a favorite song from the roaring twenties that begs, “Don’t put a tax on the beautiful girls, I won’t last a day without love…”
Or, he’s sitting at our dining room table playing Scrabble with my parents after one of our Thursday night dinners.
I also see him in the kitchen preparing his famous hotcakes.
Pop Pop made hotcakes every Sunday for his kids before church. As he grew older, he’d make them for us during our summer vacation at the beach because he usually came with us. He’d love to get up early, walk to the grocery store and buy what he needed to whip up a fresh batch and the kitchen magic would begin. Then we’d wake to the sound of him whistling or singing in the kitchen with the griddle sizzling.
“Who wants hotcakes?” he’d ask as soon as he saw our sleepy faces.
We all did. We all loved them. They were one of the things we looked forward to while on vacation. And we loved them the next day, too, and maybe even the day after that. By day four, we’d have rather eaten a simple bowl of corn flakes or a Pop Tart, but we never had the heart to say so, and we ate them anyway. It was a small price to pay to please a man who brought so much joy into our lives.
The most special hotcakes were the ones he made us on Christmas mornings when I was really young. We’d eat them like we never had them before.
Pop Pop passed away in 1977, and I still think of him and his hotcakes every year. Gone but not forgotten, poured but never duplicated, Pop Pop’s hotcakes were the centerpiece of our Christmas morning and our summer vacations for years.
This one’s for you, Pop Pop!
Hear the sizzle on the griddle
As you drop that batter
In the pat of hot butter
Round and round
Like as not
What you got is hotcakes
Hubba hubba hubba
Puffin’ up fluffy and sweet
Uh now wait
Uh now flip it!