A fitting end

Brad Olson

TVWBB Gold Member
My dad's 83-year-old body died Monday; dementia robbed him of his humanity long ago, so while the finality of his passing hit hard it was somewhat tempered by the knowing of the inevitable.

He grew up in a time when meats had to be thoroughly (i.e. sent to the surface of the sun for a week) cooked so nobody "got worms", and because of him I started grilling for myself some 45 or so years ago so that I could enjoy a burger or steak that actually had some semblance of moisture and flavor.;) A lefthanded compliment to be sure, but had I not grown up with that food philosophy I probably wouldn't have the appreciation I do today for grilling and cooking.

He started with charcoal and I loved lighting the briquettes with the oxyacetylene torch he had in his truck, but eventually he caved to one of many bad 1970s trends and converted to gas.;) It was LP at first and then NG piped to a fixed pedestal Sears grill for many years, before converting back to LP. Ah, the spray bottle...;)


I used a *lot* of A-1 and Heinz 57 in those days.;)

He was the *only* person for whom I would ever cook a well-done steak, and once or twice I even grilled two rib roasts for holidays so that I could sacrifice one of them for well-done end cuts just for him. I wish I could do that just once more.

If you send me condolences or say you're sorry for my loss I'll gratefully accept, but I'd really rather you direct a little disposable income to fight dementia and similar brain diseases. I can flat-out guarantee that I'm not the only person here who's been affected indirectly or maybe even directly, but I'd love to someday say that I was the the last.

Oh...the fitting end? My dad, the guy who spent his life eating and apparently enjoying (for what reasons I have no idea) meat cooked to death and beyond...

...was cremated.;)
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Condolences for your loss. I agree that dementia is tough on the family. My father in law passed away from Alzheimer last year. He really declined over the last four years so thankfully it wasn’t dragged out.

That’s a nice photo of your father.

The thing I remember about my Dad regarding BBQing is that he scrubbed the grates after each cook with soap and water until they were clean. Too much wasted energy. He’s still around at the age of 87 but they’re in a different state so I’ve not seen them since last year.
I also remember him starting with a hibachi grill then getting a Falcon gas grill.

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Many times I was at my fathers elbow with the hibachi when camping or the Sears brazier and, finally he got a Weber kettle and grilling changed in my home forever! Those are memories which are so firmly stamped in my mind I will never forget. Prayers for the repose of his soul.
Be safe


TVWBB Olympian
We already donate to this as one of many causes. Having lost a good friend to what was called Early Onset Alzheimer's, my mother to Lewis Body Dementia, and so on I fully understand how it is. The people you love and care for leave you WAY before their body does.

M Craw

Sorry for your loss. I too recently lost my dad, and although it was fairly quick, there's no easy way to watch a loved one go.

My condolences.

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Barb and I send our condolences. I lost my dad at a young 66 years of age 38 years ago. I remember grilling with him in our back yard in Illinois on an old half top tin grill, my job was to grill the hot dogs with close supervision of course.
Now that I'm heading toward 73 I cherish each day and my only regret is my dad didn't see his grandchildren grow up and become responsible adults.


TVWBB All-Star
Dad's mother was afflicted with dementia for at least the last 10 years of her life (she lived to something like 102,) and it was painful to witness from afar. :( It truly affected Dad, lingering on in bed was a huge fear for him.

My condolences for your Dad. May he R.I.P. I did enjoy reading your tale.

Brad Olson

TVWBB Gold Member
Thank you all for the comments and responses; I really appreciate them and they've been very helpful.

A few months ago I had to take care of him for a few hours while my mom went to the doctor. We actually talked quite a bit and while he frequently asked me who I was, if I was his brother, if I'd spoken with his dad recently, etc., at times he had some pretty lucid flashbacks to when he spent summers with his grandparents in the early 1950s and he also remembered people from his days in the sand and gravel business. In hindsight I think that day may have been harder on me because it was such a reminder of who he used to be.
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Rich G

TVWBB Gold Member
Thanks for sharing the memories of your dad, Brad! I've got similar ones of my dad with the old cast iron hibachi, his Hastybake, and finally the 36" Charbroil grill, back when Charbroil used hefty steel and made a decent grill. One difference is my dad was the one who got me on the path of rare/med rare......then again, he did make us suffer through A LOT of 7-bone chuck roasts that just never got tender!

I, too, wish I could cook my dad a steak just one more time, after which we could enjoy a bit of single malt and a cigar together.

Condolences on your loss, Brad. Cherish those memories!



Great Memories Brad, I to lost my Father to Parkinson's Dementia, one day he would tell me about how many points Kobe
scored and the next day he would tell me he took the train to Canada for lunch.
I just went with it and asked how the weather was in Canada..

Pops was a well done guy as well...