UPDATE: This is a post I wrote back in September 2007. I’ve updated it to reflect the current year, 2012.

Orlin Neville Horn. How’s that for a name?

Today is my grandpa’s 90th birthday.  I’ll be heading up to Oregon soon to celebrate this milestone birthday with him.

I am very lucky to be 44 and still have a grandpa.  He was 46 when I was born, which is kind of young to be a grandpa.  But here’s the kicker–my grandma was 39 when I was born!  I can’t imagine being a grandmother at the age I am now, considering I can’t even imagine being a mother.  But I suppose it would feel very nice to know that I’d finished the hard work of raising my children and could now enjoy my grandchildren.  Here is a photo of my grandparents holding me (left) and my brother (right):


Here is a picture of my grandpa when he was a boy (he’s the taller one on the left.  The one on the right is his brother Hollis, who passed away a few of years ago):


Remember the old cliche “When I was a kid I had to walk five miles, barefoot, in the snow to school?”  Well my grandpa really did!

My grandpa grew up in Arkansas during the depression.  He was the oldest of eight children–four boys and four girls.  All four girls are still living, but my grandpa is the only remaining boy.  They were very poor.  My great-grandfather worked as a field hand and so did his boys.  During the depression, they were employed through the WPA.

My grandpa was a tractor mechanic for much of his life but basically did all sorts of ranch work during his entire career.  He is missing his right index finger up to the knuckle–the result of a work accident years ago.

This is my favorite picture of my grandpa:

He stopped playing the guitar when he lost his finger. I have his guitar displayed in my house (it’s not the same guitar as in the picture though. Wonder what ever happened to that one?).

Here’s a bit of trivia for you:  My grandparents used to bowl with Johnny Cash’s ex-wife, Vivian.  They didn’t like the movie “Walk the Line” because they didn’t like the way it portrayed her.

Another bit of trivia: my grandpa used to haul cattle on Slauson Boulevard from a ranch very near the property now occupied by LAX.

There are very, very few people in the world who I love more than my grandpa. He is an old man now, despite the fact that I still see and think of him the way I did when I was a little girl.  He taught me all I need to know to live to be 90:

1)  Smoke at least a pack a day for 40 years
2)  Drink at least one beer a day
3)  Drink a Carnation Instant Breakfast every morning
4)  Eat pinto beans at dinner every night
5) Watch a lot of Bonanza
6)  Never give up your love of the casinos
7)  Be married to the same woman for 65+ years
8)  Love your family more than anything, especially your first born granddaughter

My grandpa probably won’t ever see this, but I’ll say it anyway:

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

P.S. Here’s another funny Grandpa story.

7 Replies to “Orlin Neville Horn”

  1. Sharrie Hite says: September 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks Holly. I really enjoyed reading these stories. I just love your grandpa.
    Happy Birthday Uncle Neville!

  2. Sharon O. says: September 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    That’s my dad. Got to love him!

  3. Larry says: September 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Holly I will show this to him

    1. Holly West says: September 10, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Thanks Larry! See you soon!

  4. Kelly D. Palmer says: October 28, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    That is the sweetest tribute to your grandfather! He sounds like a super-cool guy who also is lucky to have such a wonderful granddaughter. 🙂

  5. Antoinette says: September 11, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Awwwww. That is so sweet. Where did you get the pics? From Grandma? Wish we could have been there!

  6. morgan says: September 10, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Here’s to Pops! (raise my Coors in the air)

Leave a Reply