HAPPY 91ST BIRTHDAY, GRANDPA!

My grandfather when he was a little tyke, growing up in Atlanta, Georgia

Grandpa, me and his dog Bootsie back in the early 80's. Bootsie was a strong, willful mutt and when scrawny little me tried to walk her, it turned into skiing on cement.

A recent photo

A statue of Grandpa at Comerica Park in Detroit

This photo typifies Grandpa. He has an infectious laugh and a great attitude toward life.

I want to wish my Grandpa, Ernie Harwell, a very Happy 91st Birthday today. He is an amazing human being, legendary sportscaster and a wonderful grandfather. I am hoping I take after him - although even at my age it's tough to keep up with a guy like Grandpa. He works out at the gym daily in addition to jumping rope 300+ times, is sharp as a tack and seems to have boundless energy and enthusiasm for life.
I can still remember him good-humoredly driving us to school in his beret, robe and slippers or the times we'd come over and listen to his latest song on his reel-to-reel recorder. I also remember his Motown albums, rousing organ solos, piles of newspapers and all of the Detroit Tigers tube socks and t shirts in the basement. Going to visit he and my grandma was a total media immersion experience, long before the Internet ever came into play. He somehow managed to read a newspaper, watch TV, and listen to the radio, all while carrying on a conversation with everyone in the room. Grandpa had endless patience with his grandchildren and never seemed to get uptight or resent it when we poked around his office, made a lot of noise or tested how many revolutions we could do on his rotating chair before it came to a complete stop.
By far, though, the things I admire most about him are his devotion to God, warmth, sense of humor, loyalty and commitment to his family. Grandpa, I love you very much and am so grateful for the example you have set and the privilege I have been given to have you for my grandfather. I certainly hope you are with us for many years to come! Viva la Ernie!