I grew up in Ocala, just about two miles from Granny and Granddaddy’s house on Ft. King Street. What a blessing it was to be their grandson. Some of my happiest memories are during my childhood with my grandparents. It was such a special time in my life and I believe theirs too. I fondly remember fishing in the Gulf, going to Gator games, playing in the waves at Daytona, and most of all swimming with them in their pool. Such wonderful, happy memories that only grandchildren can experience with their grandparents.
Some of my most vivid memories I have with Granddaddy took place behind this store in the orange grove. I recall beginning at age ten, too young to get a summer job anywhere else, I was ‘volunteered’ to come work with him in the grove. Weekdays throughout each summer I would dread hearing the horn on his old Toyota truck at 8:00AM. His trademark “honk-honk” meant Granddaddy was at our house ready to pick me up and head out here for the day’s work. And the work was difficult. Planting, weeding, hoeing, and watering on Monday. Tuesday the same. On and on. Slowly our trees grew and matured. Eventually, our hard work paid off, just as Granddaddy had predicted years before. Not only was Granddaddy my boss and mentor all those years out here, but he was my granddad and friend.
My best friend. I wish today I could hear the “honk-honk” of his old truck just one more time knowing it was Granddaddy behind the wheel.
I am proud and humbled to call Pat and Marion Roche my Granny and Granddaddy. I have been greatly blessed.
I hope that throughout the coming years others see reflections of their character, values, and morals in my own children.
And maybe one day …. my grandchildren.
Scott Conley- Owner