Papaw Gene: A Short Story

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This is a story about my grandfather Eugene "Gene" Mitchell, known to me as papaw Gene. Papaw Gene was Mom"s Dad. Papaw was born on February 7, 1938 in Yukon, West Virginia. Yukon is in the Appalachian Mountians and back in papaw's youth the major industry was coal mining. Papaw didn't want to be a coal miner so he dropped out of hihgh school and joined the army for two years. After his discharge he and Grandma Rita knew they didn't want to live around the mines. So like lots of other young couples they took off to earn a living in Washington, D.C. Papaw decided he wanted to be a police officer and was accepted into the police academy. He became a park police in Prince Georges County in Maryland. I remember him telling me about the Martin Luther King riots that happened in Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1968. Earlier that day Martin Luther King had been assassinated and the rioting…show more content…
He has several surgeries on his back but eventually had to take a disability retirement. My grandparents moved to North Carolina to escape big city life to finish raising their family. Papaw thrived on excitement, and being "in" on the lastest rescue missions in the community really made his day. He joined the Center Pigeon Fire Department and became a first responder. Because of his back injuries he mostly did traffic control. He loved to help others and was very often the first one on the scene. He dedicated many hours to our community and losing him to cancer on November 25, 1997, was not only the saddest day of my life, but the saddest to the Bethel Community as well. The fire department honored Papaw during his funeral with the entire department in attendance and with the fire trucks leading the funeral procession through town. That was the day that I realized what pride in someone else really felt like. If I can be even half the man he was, I know I will be a positive influence on other people as

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