Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I'll Give You a Nickel . . .

When the B.maidenname children were very young, our paternal grandfather was a Nebraska farmer several hundred miles away. They couldn't get away often, but as I remember it, Grandpa and Grandma B came about once a year to visit. He was from the old school, and had some peculiarities, but they endeared him to us. He was one of a kind. When he came to visit, we could count on three things. [In the style of top ten lists, saving the best for last, we'll start with #3.] 3. He wore his 'good' (probably felt?) cowboy hat, which he carefully set on top of the lampshade when he arrived, and we knew not to touch it. 2. He carried his toothbrush in his front shirt pocket when he traveled away from home. 1. The most interesting thing to his 3 young granddaughters: He was the only man we ever knew of who wore sock garters. Sock garters! We couldn't imagine such a thing. If you aren't familiar with them you can see them at The Vermont Country Store . When they came to visit, he arrived, took off his hat, and sat down in the living room. We couldn't wait to get to him to see if that was a REAL toothbrush in his pocket, and to lift his slacks to check and see if he had his garters on. He would let us look, touch, and giggle for a few minutes, then he'd reach into his pocket and say, "I'll give you a nickel to leave me alone . . . . "

It could be that you had to be there to understand it, but those are such sweet memories to my sisters, brother and me, that to this day we still say, "I'll give you a nickel if . . . ." When Grandpa died, one of my sisters had the forethought to ask Dad to save us one of his nickels from the change on his dresser, so we each still have one of Grandpa's nickels. A nickel; only five cents; but a lifetime of childhood memories contained within.

1 comment:

strem said...

Dad told us that our grandpa used to wear garters, and Grandpa will be 100 this year. I wish I could have seen him back in those days.

Such a precious story. Thank you for sharing your memories.