Thursday, January 22, 2009

Originally Posted 12/15/2008

More Crazy Memories
from The Daily Scream by Dan
Now that I have spilled the beans on my bizarre childhood, some of the memories of it make a whole lot more sense. For example, one of my most vivid memories is of my bedroom at my grandparent's house. It now makes very good sense that it would be right off my grandparent's bedroom, since they were the ones taking care of me. For the longest time, I couldn't grasp the concept of why my bedroom would have been connected to their room.

I also have lots of memories of traveling around with my grandfather from a very young age. I guess since I was living with them, it would only make sense. I always felt like such a lucky kid...because my grandparents took me to all kinds of interesting places, to see all kinds of interesting things. One of my favorite memories were the Sunday afternoon drives, which always included a stop somewhere to look at trains. I don't know who was the bigger kid when it came to the railroad, Grandpa or me.

We often traveled to Corning to visit with Uncle Ralph (my grandmother's brother) and Aunt Clara....for some reason my memories of their house are usually very dark...dark in the sense that the inside of the house seemed to have a lot of dark colors and woodwork. They had a less than sociable Cocker Spaniel named Checkers. I seem to recall being told repeatedly that Checkers was going blind and to not bother him....but I also have a pretty vivid memory of sitting on the stairs with the dog with his head in my lap...

Uncle Ralph worked for the a engineer. He knew of my love for trains and had promised that when I was big enough, that I would have a ride in the locomotive...unfortunately, he died before that wish was fulfilled. Some would think that might be classed as a bad memory, but I know he had every intention of getting me that ride. Two years ago, I finally got my was hard to hold back the tears...tears of joy. I know Uncle Ralph smiled that day....and so did I.

Our travels often took us to Pennsylvania. We would either go to Forkston, where my Aunt Arlene and Uncle Shorty (my grandmother's brother) had a summer home on Aunt Arlene's family plot, or to Harrisburg, where they actually lived. Uncle Shorty was anything but short...he was a fairly big character, retired from the Pennsylvania State Police as the head of the Governor's security detail. When you shook hands with him, you knew your hand had been shook. He had a grip like a vice and he expected you to have one too. It was always a contest to see if I could give him a shake that he would be proud of. Dad, Grandpa and I often joked about shaking hands and who would have a sore hand for the longest time afterwards.

Sometimes the travels weren't nearly as far, Uncle Will (yet another of Gram's brothers) and Aunt Hazel only lived five houses down the street. I liked to go there to visit...because Aunt Hazel had fish. I believe that is where the fish that my mother killed off came from...a gift from Uncle Will and Aunt Hazel. But we won't dwell on is about happy memories. I remember going for a ride with Uncle Will on a couple of different occasions...and never go this fast when others are driving. Guess he had a bit of a lead foot.

There is one other memory of my grandfather that I need to share. I can remember anxiously awaiting him to get home from work, so that I could hop up in his lap and we could read the newspaper every day. Grandpa often had a cigar or his pipe while we read the paper, waiting for Grandma to rustle up supper for us. The big memory though, was Grandpa's thumbs...I still remember them as being huge...huge thumbs with huge thumbnails. I suppose to a kid three, four or five years old, that anyone's thumbs would seem huge...but I don't have that kind of memory of my dad...just Grandpa. Below is a photo of a smoker's stand similar to the one my grandfather had....except his rack was full of pipes and there was a large gold ashtray.

Time to stop for the day, before this gets much more disjointed. Thanks for tuning in.
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