Stan Gerding

Dear Grandson: An Introduction

In this new column, Dear Grandson, Stan Gerding writes letters to his six-year-old grandson so that he can impart knowledge he has gained over his lifetime.


Hello, my name is Stan Gerding and I am a grandpa.

When people are asked if they had a chance to sit down with somebody, living or dead, and talk with them for a few hours, most people pick a famous person from history, show business, or politics. I would love to sit down with my grandfather. He was born in the late 1800s and knew the gay nineties, lived through World War I, the Great Depression, prohibition, World War II, and the Korean War. The knowledge he had would have been something that interests me.

I never got the chance to really know my grandfather, to really know him, to know what his life was like when he was a kid through adulthood. My grandfather died when I was six years old, so I never got a chance to know the man. In my eyes, my grandfather was a very large figure in his town and very well respected. When he died and we were riding in the cars to take his body to his final resting spot, we drove past the corner bar where he frequented daily to have a beer with his buddies. There must have been twenty or more gentlemen standing outside with a beer in their hands who lifted their glasses as if to toast him when we drove by the front of the saloon.

I have always had this feeling that I wish I could sit with him now for a few hours and talk with him and find out more about him. I know that I will not get that chance and so I can only imagine what he was like.


I do not want my grandson to grow up wondering what his grandpa was about, who he was, what it was like for him growing up.


I have a grandson that is six years old and lives 3,000 miles away. I do not want my grandson to grow up wondering what his grandpa was about, who he was, what it was like for him growing up. Through this column on The Big Smoke, I will be writing a letter every other week to my grandson, talking about different topics and sharing with him my thoughts about my past so that he will have a thorough understanding of who I am and what I am about.

In brief, I was a grocery clerk at the age of 12, a licensed butcher at age 17, a 23-year Navy veteran, Administrator at two hospitals, Manager of two MRI centers, a regional director at DaVita dialysis, a high school teacher, a technical college instructor, a singer, and an author of a book. I graduated from high school, business college, got an associate degree in lab science, a bachelor’s degree in hospital administration, and completed some graduate work. I have been all over these United States and have met numerous people. I can impart lots of information to my grandson, some he can use, some that will amuse, and just maybe some of the wisdom might make him a better person.

The whole idea and concept of these letters is for my grandson to know me and not have to wonder who his grandfather is, or was. So, for now, bear with me and I will begin writing to my grandson.


Stan Gerding is the author of the book The Nam “Doc” A Navy Corpsman’s Story.


Stan Gerding

Stan Gerding is a retired veteran after 23 years in the Navy that included a tour of duty in Vietnam as a Corpsman, 1968-1969. He has since been the administrator of various healthcare organizations, a high school science teacher, an author, a singer, and is the father of Greg Gerding and grandfather to Jack.

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