Monday, December 26, 2005

Story Time

One of the best parts of the Holiday Season is getting together with the family and hearing some old-timey stories. My Great-Uncle Dick always has a bunch of 'em. He's in his 80s, grew up during the Depression, served in the Coast Guard during WWII, and is the father of twins -- which is of particular revelance to Tif and I these days. One of his twins stories was about how, when his kids were little, one afternoon they were playing ball in the yard while he was at work. They must have had wild arms because they were losing all their baseballs. They went to their mom and she dug a baseball out of dad's dresser drawer. The ball, it turns out, was one he had signed at a ballgame when he was 9 years old -- signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. They played with it a while -- didn't lose it -- but basically destroyed the signatures to the point you could barely make them out any longer.

Another Uncle Dick story deals with the Germans who came ashore on Long Island during WWII and the Coast Guardsmen who spotted them. He knew the guy and got the story of the night from him over a beer not long after it happened. Evidently, the guy who spotted the Germans wasn't exactly 'on patrol' but was drinking a bottle of whiskey in a shack on the beach having shown up late for his duty that night and could more accurately have been said to have been spotted by the Germans than having detected them himself. Apparently, he nearly didn't tell anyone he saw them (they threatened him and gave him some cash -- as the linked story relates) and he waited several hours before even tryng to inform his superior officers, and even then it was more luck than anything that decided to do anything about it.

Good ol' Uncle Dick. He gave our waitress one of those little bags of chocolate gold coins and told her that his leftovers were for his grandmother who lives in cardboard box under the bridge. He then ripped a loud fart that had people several tables away laughing out loud.

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