Guardians of the Story number three

Carl Harold Rossbach (1896 – 1965), with his wife, Eunice (Larson) Rossbach. My grandparents.

There is all manner of teaching that happens during a lifetime. A small amount happens in a classroom and with written material. The vital learning comes from watching and observing. I am grateful for this time of life when I can reflect on my education. My grandfather, Carl Rossbach, was a Master Teacher.

When I think about the puny stresses I have faced in my 72 years of a privileged life I am embarrassed to call it stress. In the late 1920s the expression, ‘he lost the farm’ was more than a metaphor. Carl Rossbach did lose his farm. He auctioned off all of the equipment and decided to buy a gas station. When people didn’t have enough money to buy gas and you lose the gas station, you move to a place where there are jobs. When life throws you a curve ball – you adjust, but you take your best swing, and you never give up, you always show up.
If you are fortunate enough to find the love of your life, you love them your whole life. It is not a ‘love ya’ love – it is a ‘flip city, oobie shoobie, crazy love’. You are in a contest with your spouse to see which one can love the other the best. You laugh constantly at the absurd notion that you were lucky enough to find her.
Long before Father Richard Rohr said it, my Grandpa practiced it: ‘How you do anything is how you do everything’. No one has ever approached the consecutive Sunday record as ‘Head Usher’ of the First United Methodist Church of Ann Arbor Michigan as Carl Rossbach. Always have some extra bulletins in your pocket for first time visitors and never be without a fresh carnation in your lapel.

What did you learn from your Grandfather?

One response to “Guardians of the Story number three”

  1. Love it! For me, he was a gentle giant, missing one finger, with a parakeet sitting on his glasses. He had a very clean garage and pin up girls way in the back of his scary basement. He was the most dependable person I ever met and man, oh man, he sure loved his little girl, Bette, whom was about as different from him as possible. When he died, my Grandma missed him terribly until the day she died. She would get this faraway look in her eye and when I was old enough to recognize it, I’d ask her “what’s wrong Gram?” and she always said, “I miss Daddy”.


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