Tuesday, March 16, 2010

He Was A Smooth Operator, A Smooth Operator He Was

One of the smoothest men whom I ever had the joy of meeting and having known was my grandfather. Truly he was a man who was able to bring an entire room to their knees with uproarious stories and ability to make witty quips. One of my favorite stories this master of the yarn ever spun was the tale of how he came to meet my grandmother.

You see Jim Boyden was a man who made his living riding the rails working for a railroad company. From time to time when riding into a new town he would throw open the door of a rail car and just watch as the women chased the train just to get a glimpse of the handsome new man riding into town. On this one particularly hot day he rode into an Alabama town and threw open the door in an attempt to get more air. As usual the women ran not only attempting to get a glimpse but to get a touch of the man who in their minds was obviously more superior than the men that were in their town.

In this particular town a woman was so bold as to walk up and actually speak to him, which was odd as most women were too terrified to speak to the dynamic man. The woman introduced herself as Mittie later to be known as Grandma to me. “Hey mister! You wanna buy me a fish sandwich and a bag of peanuts?” My grandfather, being the gentleman he was replied, “oh hell, no problem. I’ll buy you a bag of peanuts and a fish sandwich.”

Off they walked to a nearby food stand where he as promised purchased the aforementioned fish sandwich and peanuts and made small talk while he walked and the pretty woman ate the purchased vittles. As she talked my grandfather thought to himself, e was a pretty girl, but nothing special enough to change what he was doing so he began to count down until it was time for him to leave. Upon finishing the future matriarch of my family was so grateful to the handsome man who had so kindly purchased her lunch that she invited him to her home for dinner with her and her parents (which at the time wasn’t the serious deal it is now a days). Jim Boyden being the gentleman he was once again accepted the proposal she extended.

He arrived at her home and was greeted by her very ecstatic mother who was very happy with the choice of gentleman her daughter had chosen to bring home for dinner. And once inside, Jim wowed the entire family all the while plotting his escape. Dinner was done and the time for him to leave had arrived. As he stood her mother said six words that would change his life. “Want some ice cream and cake?” He thought to himself, “sure, what’s the worst that could happen?” He ate the delicious cake and the delectable ice cream and upon finishing he had an overwhelming urge to say this, “I am going to marry you woman.” And indeed he did and it was a union that lasted decades and spawned two children and more than a few grandchildren.

Did this story happen exactly as told it? Who knows? The one thing I do know is I am definitely going to beware of ice cream and cake.

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