1930 Hamilton 992 Railroad Pocket Watch in #2 Case

My 88 year-old living grandfather, Gasper P. LaCiura, wrote and self-published a book at age 78 titled, Love & Roses. I’ve titled this post with the same basic title as a showing of my love and respect for him as his grateful first-born grandson. With his permission, I share my personal letter to honor him below.


On this Christmas eve in 2007, I am writing this letter, Pa Pa, to honor you and tell you how much I love you for being the best grandfather a young boy, and now a grown man, could ever have.

I want to thank you for letting me experience the thrill of driving your boat as a young lad and teaching me that life is a daring adventure to be enjoyed with those you love.

Thank you for the many opening days of shrimp season when you, my dad, and I would diligently prepare for and excitedly anticipate the blessing of a bountiful first drag of the net. Whether we caught the “mother lode” or we forgot to “tie the pocket”, I learned through these shared outdoor experiences how to appreciate the good things of real life and real family.  

Thank you for the many summer weeks and long week-ends at the camp where I learned how to enjoy and discover the simple things of a “Tom Sawyer” life on the bayou. Shooting snakes, catching garfish, and frying fresh catfish for dinner are the boyhood memories that influenced me to stay near to home as a man and offer my children the opportunity for similar storybook adventures in the sportsman paradise of Southeast Louisiana. 

Thank you for giving me my very first car – a classic 1966 mustang – for the price of $1,200, teaching me that nothing in life is free and anything worth having is worth the hard work to achieve it. 

And most importantly, thank you for always being there for me to listen to my dreams, encourage my pursuit of them, and inspire my belief that nothing would be impossible for me with a little bit of faith, hope, and love.

Now that I am a grown man, blessed by God with a family of my own, doing my best to fulfill my commitments and fully live life with convictions of truth and principle in my heart, the time for me to tell you how much you mean to me must not continue to slip away any longer.  Therefore, without any further delay and believing in the principle that “the pen is mightier than the sword” which you taught me, I write this heartfelt letter to honor you. 

While I may not be able to see you or talk with you as often as I’d like, I want you to know that in all my successes and even my failures, nothing means more to me than the gift of your life, love, and laughter that you shared with me throughout your life, helping me become the man of purpose and conviction that I am today.  In the same way that Pa Pa Tony taught you that “your word is your bond”, many of the life principles that you have taught me are as timeless and priceless as the railroad watch you have saved for me to pass on to my first-born son as a timeless family legacy.

In closing, my sincere prayer for you, Pa Pa, as you reflect upon your prosperous and blessed life, is that your personal relationship with our heavenly Father, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will grow ever more closely and intimately as each day passes just as I love and know you as the best grandfather a boy and a man could ever have in a lifetime! I love you Pa Pa!

Your grateful grandson,

Gary B.

Merry Christmas and many more Happy New Years!

Love And Roses – A Time Honored Letter To My Grandfather Copyright 2007, Gary J. Borgstede.  You have permission to reprint this personal family letter, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.