Magpie Tales #29
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Dear Mr. Paige,
I drove by the old homestead the other day. My granddaughter, Crystal-Lily was with me. We'd been out to the cemetery to tend the flower plantings and she began asking who all those people were whose names were chiseled on the various stones. I introduced her to a goodly share of her French and Irish ancestors. Soon she asked if she could see where I grew up. We got back in the car and I gave her a tour of the neighborhood where I'd grown up.. when we drove by the church, Notre Dame, where I'd been catholocized, she was awed by the size and grandeur of the place. Any way, I'm getting away from the the point of my letter.
Next we drove over to the Oak street bungalow that you sold to dad for $3,000.00 in 1948. I told her we'd moved to this house when I was 3 years old, and I didn't leave 'til I was 17 and joined the Navy.
Lily wondered if the place had changed much since I'd lived there. Noting the changes; additions and renovations I mentioned what wasn't there: the old chicken coop. No longer housing chickens, that dilapidated old building provided a grand stage for all my friends and my imaginary feats. The building was a pretty good size for a coop; probably 400 sq. ft. with a sloping roof from 6 or 7 ft. on the high side to maybe 5 ft an the low side.
"What kind of things did you do out there grand-paw?"
"One time, my friend Donny and I were playing on the roof, of the coop, pretending that it was the deck of our pirate ship. Pretty soon we'd inadvertently stirred up a hornet's nest under the high side eave."
"Did they sting you grand-paw?"
"No, but they took after Donny, and he took off running so fast that he didn't touch the ground 'til he was twenty feet away and even then he didn't fall but continued to run as fast as his legs could move and he never stopped 'til he'd run through the field for the two blocks to his house."
Lily and I laughed as hard in the retelling as I did that day.
Yours in memory,