Features | Grandparent Stories

Grandfathers of Getaway

Grandfathers of Getaway

In the spirit of reconnecting with the those that matter most to us, all Getaway cabins are named after grandparents of our employees and guests. This Father’s Day, we’re honoring all the dads and granddads that inspire us by sharing some memories about the grandfathers of Getaway.

Ernest, the namesake of one of our Atlanta cabins, raised three kids mostly on his own. His granddaughter Melanie Simpson remembers him as a strong man who loved to work with his hands. She says he built everything from doll houses and desks for his grandkids, to his own house.

“He was a family man who took care of us,” Melanie explained. “He was full of pride and heart. He was a little rough around the edges, but once you got to know him, he had a warm caramel center. He passed away when I was 14 and I miss him everyday.”

One of our Portland cabins, The Norman, was named after Patricia Sellino’s father. Norman was born in the 1940s and by the time he was twenty, he was serving in the Navy and steering the USS Enterprise.

“My father was firm, but fair. He believed in your deeds, not your words” Patricia said. “Most importantly, he taught us, make sure you love yourself, because if you don’t, nobody else will. Be good to others and sunshine will always find its way to you.”

Brittany Wood has fond memories of seeing her grandfather Bennie, whose cabin is at Getaway Beaver Creek, work on his farm when she was growing up.

“He taught me so much about hard work and kindness,” Brittany noted. “While I would play around with the dogs or swing on the porch swing, he would be working in the fields, tending to his gardens, crops and livestock. He loved the land and what it gave him.”

Bennie had to be hospitalized in October 2017, a week before her wedding. One of her most cherished memories was seeing him discharged three hours before she got married.

“It meant so much to me to have him there with me and my new husband, giving us his blessing,” Brittany said. “I even carried his Bible down the aisle that he carried everyday for the past 52 years- ever since his wedding day.”

Located at Getaway Chattahoochee, The Walter, was named after Lizzie Sanderson’s grandfather. Walter was known best for his deep love for his wife, GG, and his service in the U.S. Army.

Walter was one of the first African-American men to become a commanding officer in the Army during both World War II and the Korea Conflict. Throughout his service, he kept in touch with GG through letters.

“It is nearly impossible to describe the love they shared, but is felt by the family they left behind,” Lizzie wrote.

Walter kept everything, including countless photo albums with family photos and binders filled with these letters.

“He was the epitome of a good man and he raise his only son, my father, to be the same,” Lizzie said. “He is gone, but his legacy remains ingrained in the hearts of the people whose lives he touched.”