A Day with My Grandfather, Hoyt Frazure

Once I spent the day on a very personal, behind-the-scenes grand tour of The Miami Herald. I was being guided by the Grocery Advertising Representative, Hoyt Frazure, who was my grandfather. He started with the paper in 1927 and was credited with inventing the Thursday grocery ad supplement used by newspapers to this day. In all of my memories of him, this was the only day we spent together, just the two of us. I was about 12 years old. He and my grandmother had divorced when my mother was in high school. He and his wife, Olive, lived in far south Miami where he had planted all kinds of fruit trees. His Ponderosa lemons were as large as his grapefruit. He had orange, avocado, papaya and mango trees also. On that one day with him at the newspaper, I saw him stop the presses just for me, his only grandson. Great rolls of newsprint were threaded like ribbons through the system. Various sections of the paper were being printed simultaneously and then cut to form the actual newspaper.

A visit to the typesetter gave me my most lasting memory. In those days a “hot type” was used to provide the basis for the printing. All of the articles were entered through a linotype machine where each word was entered by hand. An actual metal plate was created with all of the type entered in the appropriate columns. My grandfather asked the typesetter to make a line of type with my name, which he did. A few minutes later I was handed a still warm piece of metal with my name in italic and written backwards. Seeing my confusion they showed me how, when ink and pressure was applied, my name would be printed perfectly. I treasure that line of type to this day.

I remember many Sunday afternoon trips when our family traveled down to Granddad’s place. On our visits we would look at the trees, examine the fruit and sometimes be entertained by Olive at the piano. Before he retired from the paper, he gave an extensive 10-week Sunday supplement interview where he told his stories of the early days in South Florida. It was made into a book, Memories of Old Miami, which holds family stories we never knew. Time spent with my grandfather made all the difference in the world to me. Spend time with your Heavenly Father. Let Him show you His handiwork. Ask Him to write your name in His Book of Life.  

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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