My wife, children and I went to Grandpa’s house for lunch one day.  The boys, warned by mom and dad, waited sat quietly while Luella set out a huge meal; roast beef, rolls, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, desert.

 After lunch we sat in the den. J. E. had a recliner by the picture window near an end table with a stack of books on it. At the top of the pile was a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte atop “The Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith. He saw me looking at the books and said “That Napoleon was a bad actor.” This constituted a long conversation with my grandfather, which is probably why I remember it.

 He was in his eighties then, and voraciously reading History, Economics and anything else that interested him. My Dad told me that he and his brothers were worried about Grandpa, “He was taking every penny he could lay his hands on and buying gold with it.” We should be so crazy.

 I read a biography of Napoleon later, maybe the same one. I had to agree, Napoleon was a bad actor.

 My grandfather was brilliant man; passionate, confident, inquisitive, decisive, driven; and successful at whatever he turned his hand to. Truly, Mike Lien was his father’s son.