Connecting with grandson for first time a special memory

Published 7:42 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023

By Steve Stricker

My grandson Stephen III knocked me out of my chair calling a few weeks ago to ask if he could visit with me in Oxford a few days before beginning his freshman year at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio. I picked him up at Memphis International and drove to Oxford and Ole Miss to witness the excitement of sorority rush in full dress, Proud Larry’s for Fat Larry’s pizza and beginning our enjoyable historic visit.

I attended morning Mass while he slept in, and later we watched band practice for our renowned Pride of the South Band on their new field. We walked through the band building and found a photo of son Scott as a member of the band when he was here. We visited the Book Store, Lyceum and Library’s Starbucks. We sat in the Library’s study room 1:15 to 4:40 and bonded by chatting about stuff – the best part of the visit for me.

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Stephen suggested dinner at McAllister’s – a great choice. He had the Four Cheese Melt and I had the large Chipotle Chicken & Bacon Spud and we both were stuffed.

Stephen went to Mass with me on Friday and met Father Mark Shoffner, Nancy Roberts, Pattie and Jerry Marquette, then other Oxford people who are very important in my life. We visited The Graduate Hotel, Mark Shoemake in Hinton and Hinton, Bub Brannan, Brannan’s Auto Repair, Mr. Lewis in Neilson’s, Richard Howorth in Square Books, then walked to Boure’s for a fabulous last supper of Pasta Jambalaya and Boure Shrimp and Grits. We both were stuffed again.

As with most things in this life, blink and Saturday we were preparing to leave Oxford for his flight home. Wanting to give him something meaningful to me for reaching out and visiting, I gave him my rosary given to me when I became a member of the Knights of Columbus, a 1922 Silver Dollar. Also, loving small cars I get at Kroger, the one most important to me is a rare one only seen since, navy-blue pickup with red Ole Miss markings, and miscellaneous business cards with my (our) name on them.

This was a momentous moment in both our lives – Stephen 1 and Stephen 3 connecting for the first time for the rest of our lives, with Stephen 2, my son and daughter-in-law Kristie laced together.

Good luck Stephen, thank you for visiting me. I miss you, love you, good luck at Oberlin – you are going to make a significant impact on our world.

Steve is an Oxford resident, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, and can be reached at