Dr. Lloyd Euel Lake, Sr., was my paternal grandfather. He was a strange, complex man, who by turns in his life was a dentist, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, a land developer, an emergency responder, a retail store owner, an armed strike breaker, and an ordained minister in the Disciples of Christ. And those are just the careers I know about at this remove. He fell seriously ill around 1973, when I was nine, and died in 1977, when I was eleven. My family says he regarded me, his first grandchild, with a fierce joy unsurpassed. I once described him as holding me with a fierce, iron love one degree removed from cruelty.
These pictures turned up yesterday in an email exchange between myself, my sister and my dad. They tell you a lot about the role of nature versus nurture in forming who I have become in this life.
Photos © unknown, ca. 1969. Scanned and curated by M. Lake.