Wednesday, January 20, 2010


As a youth, I went to Illinois with my family to visit my paternal grandparents. It was the beginning of Summer, and we drove all the way from Albany (New York) to Dixon. This was before the age of children's carseats and airbags. We didn't wear seatbelts, either. This was an era when competitive people played Lawn Darts and people without personal boundaries played Twister. We played neither of these games when we got to Dixon. We are not a game-playing family.

In those days, at a small family reunion of the sort I am recounting, you might have been served fondue. We may very well have eaten some fondue, but I don't remember for sure.

While we're on the topic of food, I should tell you that my grandfather owned an ice cream factory. He did a decent business, most of the time. Although he was always a wealthy man, there were times when he was more wealthy and times when he was less wealthy. He liked to buy Cadillacs. He paid for them in cash.

My grandfather's interests were what people today might call multi-disciplinary. In his living room, in front of the baby grand piano, each upon its own pedestal, were a dictionary, a bible, and a tickertape machine.

My grandmother was a patient woman. She gave children piano lessons at the house. Once, a child became enthralled by the chattering of the tickertape machine and knocked it over. My grandmother decided to leave the machine, now broken and silent, upon the floor.

On this particular visit, I came into the living room one day and noticed my grandfather lying in his recliner. He was barely awake. In front of him were two television sets, both on, both full volume, both tuned to different channels.

"Grandpa," I asked, "why are you watching two tv's at once?"

"I've got two eyes, don't I?" he said.


  1. Now that is the way the next great American novelist of the 21st century would be writing!!!! Nice start to your blog. Now writing down your damn user name and password so you don't forget them.

    By the way, the best thing about this blog so far is the brilliant profile pic. Whoever took that is a real genius!!!

  2. Your grandfather sounds like he was one interesting unforgettable character. I can definitely see why he would come up in your writings. Great story !!