Perry Golden

In my earliest memories, I recall a man with a gigantic video camera on his shoulder.  My grandfather, Perry Golden, was the self-designated cameraman for the decades-long saga that was the Golden Family Experience.  He filmed everything- every mundane hour of every family gathering.  The cameras got smaller and better, but he eventually stopped shooting.  I don’t remember when.

He was a professional extra for a time.  He made appearances in such classics as Spaceballs and Ghostbusters and Beaches.  His arm was featured prominently in a scene in the movie Batteries Not Included.

He loved to read and preferred history books.  His knowledge of WWII was encyclopedic.

He used to make me these really amazing root beer floats and taught me the importance of rendered animal fats in the creation of extra delicious foods.  He also used to take me to the tide pool in Dana Point, CA where I would spend hours with the sea creatures.

He and my grandmother would board a cruise ship and disembark a week later with a ship-full of new friends.

He loved Ronald Reagan and in his later years, adored FOX News.  Bill O’Reilly and Glen Beck were his constant companions.

More than anyone or anything, he loved my Grandmother, Paulyne.  She passed on a few years ago and now he’s finally joined her in the great beyond.

My grandpa died today.  My mother called me on the phone, crying.  I grabbed my camera before I ran out of the house to join her at his place.  As difficult as this was to photograph- he had already passed on by the time I got there- It’s now my turn to document the Golden Family Experience, for better or worse.  May the worst be behind us.

family

Love ya, Gramps.

8 thoughts

  1. Melissa,

    I lost my grandfather last week as well who also shared a love of root-beer floats. This is a lovely remembrance as is the family documentary tradition you are carrying on.

    J

  2. Melissa, Our thoughts and prayers go to you and your family at your loss. I first met your grandparents when they came to visit your mom & dad before you were born. Over the years we have always kept in touch until they finally moved away to be close to you and your family. We all grieve over lost ones that we cherish. Such were your grandparents. Perry missed Pauline very much and now they can be together. You will always have the memories to hold in your heart. I have taken the liberty to copy a poem that may help you understand his passing and love for his wife. Love to all, Dave & Alice Kimbrel

    Ship of life, author unknown

    Along the shore I spy a ship
    As she sets out to sea:
    She spreads her sails and sniffs the breeze
    and slips away from me.

    I watch her fading image shrink
    As she moves on and on,
    Until at last she’s but a speck,
    Then someone says, ” She’s gone!”

    Gone where? Gone from our sight
    And from our farewell cries:
    That ship will somewhere reappear
    To other eager eyes.

    Beyond the dim horizon’s rim
    Resound the welcome drums,
    And while we’re crying, “There she goes!”
    They’re shouting, “Here she comes!”

  3. Melissa,

    Your grandfather was an amazing man. I’d only know him since Sept. 2008 when I joined the Volunteer Services @ IFOH as the manager. I had lost my grandfather (whom raised me) in July 2008 and when I met Perry there was instantly a connection. We all loved him at IFOH and he will truly be missed. I pray that you and your family find comfort in your fond memories of Perry. Your tribute to him is amazing he looks so at peace and loved.

    May God bless & keep you doing your time of mourning.

  4. Oh Melissa. I’m so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you and your family. I hope you’re doing well.

  5. Melissa,
    Your mom forwarded me the website to see your blog regarding your grandfather’s death. Although I just this morning learned the news of Perry’s passing, it brought back many memories of my minimal involvement in the lives of both Paulyne and Perry’s lives. You and Jason are both lucky, as are my two children, John-Park and Katerine — they got to know their grandparents — for better or for worse on some occassions — and with my parents living until 91 and 93, they were able to understand better the significance of what “loss” really means within a family. Your comments really capture very warmly how important Perry was in your life. I know his absence will be gravely felt by all of your family and the staff at the Woodlands for some time.
    Please accept my condolences. Kay Abell

  6. I’m also sorry for your loss. He was a great man. He was one of 3 men I befriended when I first started volunteering. He taught me so much about life and always put a smile on my face. He was soo much like a grandfather figure to me and Mrs Nancie is like a motherly figure. Perry is great man and I will always remember the things he has taught me and told me and I will always have him in my thoughts and prayers.

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