Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the great and the near great

My grandmother which would be Samaya's great,great grandmother lived to over a hundred years old because the Grim Reaper was too scared to come near her until then and I suspect he brought henchmen to give him courage. As a teenager she was a nanny for the children of a Russian general. Soon after that she crossed the ocean to the New World, married had a eight children, made bootleg whiskey in her bathtub and mostly did as she pleased. My favorite picture of her is bending down to pet her cowering German Shepherd with her massive shoulders blocking out the sun. My grandfather was the first to build on the end of South Chestnut St. A man bought the property next to her house and wanted to build a house, but the problem was my family had the only water needed to build a foundation. He made a deal with my grandmother to pay for the water after the foundation was built. The foundation did get built but something went wrong and it collapsed. He came to my Grandmother with his tale of woe saying that he had to start over. She said ok but pay me for the water you have already used. He said "Mary, you don't understand. My foundation crumbled. I'm not paying you." She answered. "Are you sure you won't pay me?" He said yes. She grabbed a sledge hammer and demolished the man's car. A policeman came to investigate and heard their story. He said. "Sounds like your even" and then he left. The man, resigned to defeat, paid her and then said he was going to start another foundation. She said "Fine, but now you have to pay in advance."

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