April 11, 2008

Gilbert Jones Stories

Going to my grandparent’s old farm a week ago seems to have stirred up a lot of memories and I’ll share a couple of recollections that, looking back, were quite funny.

I was six or seven years old and I had spent the week on the farm during the summer. The day came when it was time for the drive back home. It was just Grandpa and me in his truck. I’ve forgotten why Grandma didn’t come but it was probably a good thing she didn’t. We were almost to Ballardsville when Grandpa’s truck started to overheat; steam started pouring out from under the hood and I can remember Grandpa pulling over to the side of the road near a bridge, over an almost dried up creek.

Grandpa got out, lifted the hood, and after the engine cooled down a bit, unscrewed the radiator cap. He then started looking around for something. He found a discarded quart milk carton on the side of the road that had a small hole in the bottom. He looked down the steep embankment that ended at the creek and started down through the small trees and undergrowth, disappearing from sight.

After what seemed forever I could hear him hurrying back up the embankment. He reappeared with the milk carton, water coming out of the little hole at the bottom. He poured in what little water remained in the radiator. “Well sheeeeut.” It took what may have been fifteen trips up and down the embankment and no cars came by the entire time. I learned quite a few cuss words that day: g@wd d@mn, $0n 0f @ B1tch and so on.

This second story is about my brother, Brad, who could talk a blue streak when he was little. If you had tied his tongue to his leg, he would’ve walked himself to death. It was always a million questions with Brad.

One day Dad got after Brad for asking too many questions and Grandpa, coming to Brad’s rescue, said “how’s a little guy going to learn anything if he doesn’t ask questions?” It may have been the following week that Brad went to the farm to spend the week. The end of the week, Brad came home. That weekend Brad started to ask Grandpa a lot of questions. Finally, exasperated, Grandpa said “you know Brad, if you kept your eyes open and your mouth shut, you might just learn something.” Dad howled.

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