You never really know someone until they're gone. And sometimes, you end up knowing more about them than when they were still there. The same could be said about my grandfather. He was a quiet man when I was growing up. He loved us, sure, but he rarely outwardly expressed it. The man was entirely reserved, mostly kept to himself or just with my grandmother, and minded his own business. So when he passed away recently, I and my family got to looking into his old stuff. Turns out, he was a lover of movies.
The best part was finding out we both had the same favorite movie, "The Godfather". It's a shame we never really got to bond over it, but at least I know he had great taste in film! My grandmother then told me about how my grandfather would drag her to the theater almost every weekend just to see the same movie again and again. And every time, she remembered, he would cry, laugh, and get shocked at the best scenes in the film. But what really blew me away was that my grandfather a small collection of the movie's posters, and all of them were signed by the actors!
How the hell did he manage that!? Well, it turns out my grandfather actually, and this is true, knew Al Pacino! Michael Corleone himself! They sort of grew up together within the same area in New York City. They both loved baseball too! My grandmother noted that maybe that's why he was so fond of the movie. More than just the greatness of the film, his dear friend starred in it. She then shared the story of how, throwing caution to the wind, my grandfather sent Pacino a few copies of "The Godfather" movie poster asking him to sign it. They hadn't seen each other for quite some time then, so he wasn't sure that Pacino will respond.
But of course, he did! Not only did Pacino sign all the copies, but he also got the rest of the cast and Francis Ford Coppola to sign all of them as well. And when the actor mailed back all of the posters, he included a note to my grandfather asking how he was, how thankful he was that he loved the film and that they should meet up again sometime. Being the quiet man that he is, and a private one at that, my grandmother never knew if my grandfather ever met up with Al Pacino again. But I sure wish that he did!
Maybe I inherited my love of movies from my grandfather, I don't know! But one thing's for sure, I inherited his great taste in film. And for that, I'm forever grateful!