My Grandfather, My Friend

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my maternal grandfather’s death.

Roger Wave Lafferty, born June 25, 1941, was one of my greatest male role models growing up, though I often wish I would have told him as much while he was still around to hear it.

On June 16, 2006, I was a self-involved 19-year-old who had just wrapped up his first year of college. I knew my grandfather was dying; he had been diagnosed with lung cancer some months earlier. I made sure to visit and talk with him, as much as his condition would allow him to talk, but my social life was otherwise kept intact when I left my grandparents’ house after visiting.

I knew then, as I know now, that there was nothing I could do for him. What I didn’t realize at the time, was how deeply I would miss him in the years to follow. He had always been there; with his wise-cracking, dry sense of humor, a can of beer in his hand, and a warm, genuine smile for the family he loved.

And then he was gone.

Also at the time, there was no way I could have foreseen that my father, too, would be gone not even nine months later. In that brief timespan, the world as I had known it came crashing down around me. Those two events would go on to shape the person I have become. Nothing was the same anymore. Two of the most important men in my life had gone, and I was left to my own devices to learn for myself what being a man was all about.

This realization has been the hardest for me to reconcile, even a full decade later. I was an introverted, shy and sensitive child, and my grandfather had a penchant for making playful comments and jokes, often at others’ expense, out of love. Unfortunately, subtext is not my forte, and I often took this veiled display of love as hurtful. I know better now.

There are often times where I feel completely lost as an individual. Particularly in the areas of decisiveness, accountability and responsibility for myself, and how the choice I make impact others. In these times, my thoughts will turn to Roger. He was a jokester, and he loved partying as much as any grandfather in my mind could, but I now sense that he had a humble and reserved wisdom about him; a wisdom that I desperately wish I could have tapped into.

I miss him, and I feel like I need him practically every day of my life. At the time of his passing, I was only just reaching the point where the future and my life’s journey were coming into the forefront of my mind, and when he was gone I felt robbed. I felt like he wanted to talk with me about such things, but was patiently waiting for me to come to him for the advice he knew I would need.

And now here I am; perpetually 19, I sometimes feel. I have come to regret the way I reacted to his jokes and that I wasn’t more thankful of his presence when it was there to be felt.

I just want to talk to him again; to hear his voice tell me that it will be alright, or even that it won’t. Even that would be better than the emptiness I feel at having lost a person that I could really use in my life at this and other moments.

So I make up for it in other ways. I use his life story as an example to me of what a hard-working husband, father and man should be. No matter what came his way, he was up to the challenge. He stood up when he and my grandmother, Roxie, got pregnant in their late teens. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, served abroad and came home to provide for his family. He and my grandmother persevered at the loss of two stillborn daughters, and the raising of two healthy ones.

These are the things I am grateful to have known about him. And it’s my honor to carry his name with me as my own middle name.

My grandfather died 10 years ago on this day, but his legacy and love are still felt every day by those who knew him and whose lives he touched.

I love you, Bubba.

And now, here’s some of what you can expect to find in the area this week.

HIGHLIGHTS

‘Third Thursday’ To Feature Smackdab, DirtTrackRacing Today: The 2016 season of the “Third Thursday” downtown Jamestown concert series will continue today at Wintergarden Plaza from 6:30-9 p.m. Performances of live, original music will be given by local funk favorites Smackdab, as well as Bryan Moore and DirtTrackRacing. “Third Thursday” is a free, all-ages community arts event and concert series held every third Thursday from the months of May through September. A few local AAAlliance members will be bringing their easels and paints out to the plaza and working on their paintings and other creations. Any interested local artists or crafty folks should feel free to bring their materials down to the plaza, to work and network with the other artists, or just to show off what they have been doing lately.

Wintergarden Plaza is located at 313 N. Main St. in Jamestown. For more information, find the event on Facebook.

Open Drum Circle Scheduled For Friday In Wintergarden Plaza: The first of several “Third Friday” community drum circles is scheduled to take place at the Wintergarden Plaza from 6-8 p.m. Friday. The event is co-presented by SoundRhythms Studios and Jamestown Thunder, the event will offer attendees the opportunity to bring their djembes, congas, street drums and other street instruments in a freeform community performance. The drum circles will continue every third Friday of the month through August.

Wintergarden Plaza is located at 313 N. Main St. in Jamestown. For more information on the “Third Friday” community drum circles, call Scott Sawyer at 720-0094.

‘Wits And Giggles’ To Feature ‘America’s Got Talent’ Contestant At JSBA Saturday: The ‘Wits and Giggles’ stand-up comedy series will return to the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Saturday, with performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. Headlining the show is quarterfinalist in the eight season of ABC’s “America’s Got Talent,” Kevin Downey Jr. The feature act will be Pittsburgh native Joe Eberle. The program will be hosted by Robb Will, self-proclaimed 67th funniest comedian in Jamestown. Tickets for the event are $10 presale, $12 day of show, and $5 for students. The show is intended for audiences 18 and over.

“Wits and Giggles” is held in the Bud Light Arena Club on the second floor of the JSBA. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 484-2624 or visiting jamestownarena.com.

CRYB To Present Spring Gala Performance Saturday: The Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet, under the direction of Monika Alch, will present its annual Spring Gala performance at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. This year’s repertoire includes all of the young dancers in a staging of “Hansel and Gretel,” followed by advanced and pre-professional dancers in excerpts from “Sleeping Beauty” and the premiere of a new modern piece by resident choreographer Michael Cerwinski set to the music of “Carmina Burana.” Tickets range in price from $6 to $18.

The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts is located at 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call the Reg Lenna box office at 484-7070 or visit reglenna.com.

Ron White To Perform In Salamanca Saturday: Iconic comedian Ron White will perform at the Seneca Allegany Events Center on Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. Best known as the scotch drinking, cigar smoking member of the world-famous “Blue Collar Comedy Tour,” White has built a career by telling brutally honest stories brimming with punch lines and bursting with laughs. He has garnered Grammy nominations, a Gold record, three top-rated one-hour comedy specials, a book on the New York Times’ Best Seller list and CD and DVD sales in the tens of millions. Tickets to the show are $40.

The Seneca Allegany Events Center is located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd. in Salamanca. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 1-877-873-6322 or visit senecaalleganycasino.com/entertainment/events-center/.

Razz’s Jazzers To Perform At Italian Fisherman Sunday: Razz’s Jazzers is set to perform on the deck at the Italian Fisherman in Bemus Point for a special Fathers Day concert Sunday. The band, which specializes in traditional Dixie repertoire, will perform from 2-5 p.m. The lineup for the concert will include distinguished guests in: Tom Roberts, a pianist from Pittsburgh who has performed on “The Johnny Carson Show” and alongside the Statler brothers; Ken Crane, who has performed with the likes of Buddy Rich and Maynard Ferguson, on trombone; and local musicians Craig Ridgway on percussion, John Wilder on trumpet and Art Cooney on banjo.

The Italian Fisherman is located at 61 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point. For more information, visit italianfisherman.com or find the restaurant on Facebook.

HAPPENINGS

To include an upcoming show or event in this column, email gpaterniti@post-journal.com or call 487-1111, ext. 243 by Monday.

Tonight

The Opener: noon, Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market, Cherry Street in Jamestown

Bill Ward: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville

Charity Nuse and Amanda Barton: 7 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood

Jules-R-Us Karaoke: 8 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown

Green Jelly: 9 p.m., Jamestown Skating Products, 209 Pine St. in Jamestown

Karaoke with DJ Xcite: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown

Let’s Be Leonard: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown

Karaoke with Felony Entertainment: 10 p.m., Forte, 114 E. Third St. in Jamestown

Friday

Uncle Claud’s Band: 6 p.m., The Wine Cellar, 309 N. Main St. in Jamestown

Chris Vogt: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville

House of Rhythm: 7 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow

Jules-R-Us Karaoke: 7 p.m., Lakewood Legion, 174 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood

The Bogarts (CD release party): 7 p.m., Bellini Lounge, 215 W. Lake Road in Mayville

DJs Unlimited: 8 p.m., 4923 Route 430 in Maple Springs

Brian Chase: 9 p.m., Yesterday’s, 103 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood

SYMBA: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown

Fallen Union: 10 p.m., Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point

Trip the Deuce: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown

DJ Fish: 10 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown

Saloonatics: 10 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville

Saturday

Old Dawg Bluegrass: 10 a.m., Randolph Arts and Crafts Festival in Randolph

The Freeze: 2 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy

Saloonatics: 2 p.m., Southern Tier Brewing Company, 2072 Stoneman Circle in Lakewood

Rhema Poetry open mic: 4 p.m., RydersCup Coffee, 28 Chautauqua Ave. in Lakewood

Ken Hardley and the Moose Club: 6 p.m., Celoron Moose, 52 Dunham Ave. in Celoron

Greg Ford: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville

Bob and Steph: 7 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow

Happy Days: 8:30 p.m., Celoron Legion, 26 Jackson Ave. in Jamestown

Strange Kind of Sunshine: 9 p.m., Steener’s Pub, 3022 Route 430 in Greenhurst

Jules-R-Us Karaoke featuring Tami T: 9 p.m., Good Time Saloon, 590 Fairmount Ave. in Jamestown

Uncle Ben’s Remedy: 10 p.m., Village Casino, 1 Lakeside Drive in Bemus Point

1980 Something: 10 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown

DJ Fish: 10 p.m., Shawbucks, 212 W. Second St. in Jamestown

Painted Dogs with Urban Reverie and $4 Mistake: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 13 Water St. in Mayville

Sunday

Bob Campbell: 2 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville

No Name Trio: 2 p.m., The Pad, 1064 Route 394 in Kennedy

Bill Ward and John Cross: 4 p.m., Hadley House, 3328 Hadley Bay Road in Stow

Open Jam: 9 p.m., Bullfrog Hotel, 1414 E. Second St. in Jamestown

Monday

Bill Ward: 6 p.m., Andriaccio’s, 4837 W. Lake Road in Mayville

Open Jam: 10 p.m., Mojo’s Music Bar, 104 E. Second St. in Jamestown

Tuesday

Greg Ford: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville

Wednesday

Chris Vogt: 6 p.m., Lakeview Hotel, 13 Water St. in Mayville