Ron’s Time Tunnel: A Comet’s Tale-‘Gramp’

comet pic

 

As I stated in last week’s post, “Halley’s Memories,” comets come and comets go. Some comets, like Halley’s, come close enough to be seen by the naked eye, then travel back into parts unknown, only to return eons later. But! No matter which of these types they represent, they all have one thing in common; they leave “tales” in their wake. Oh yes! You are correct, they leave tails too, but my focus is on the “tales.” Scientists have found that the tails of comets contain “stardust”. Well, a comet’s “tale” contains “stardust” as well, the stardust of memories.

My grandmother, “Gramp,”was one of these comets; not like the ones who burn brightly and then just fade. She was/is more of a Halley’s type of comet, for although she is no longer physically with us, her “stardust” remains in the form of her stories; stories told and retold by those who had the honor and privilege of sitting in her kindly presence as she told them. My brother, sister and I were among the honored few. We often review them in our conversations, trying desperately to cling to the details; not just for our sakes, but for sake of our posterity and even the world.

As I stated last week, in “Halley’s Memories”, there are; “long period” as well as “short period” comets. Well, memories have similar characteristics for there are; “long term” memories as well as “short term” memories. Long term memories are the memories of those things that happened long ago but you still retain them in detail. They can be recalled with little or no priming. As Gramp ascended the stairway of life, the rungs of her memory began to creak and groan with the pressure of each step, but the amazing thing was that the “long term” memories were completely intact while the “short term” memories were vaporous.

For example: Her best dish was her fried chicken. Her chicken was always the first to disappear at church functions. I always relished the occasions when she made fried chicken and biscuits for supper on Saturdays (talking about some syrup sopping, ooh wee!) and fried chicken and “the works” on Sundays; however, when she started to lose her memory, she made fried chicken EVERY day! She would forget that she’d made it the day before, but we ate it, DAILY. For you see, she didn’t forget the recipe just that she’d made it yesterday! Later on, we had to stop her from cooking altogether, before she burned the house down!

Gramp had six brothers and three sisters; one of which was named Verlin.  She was the one that my siblings and I called Aunt Vulla.  We didn’t know her name was actually not Vulla and her kids and grandkids—my second cousins—didn’t know that we called her “Vulla”. I thought her name was Vulla until I tried to do some family history using Ancestry.com. I found that I was having trouble locating Vulla in any of the historical records.  I knew she was also called Flossie, but, I couldn’t locate a Flossie until the 1940 census. There, she was listed there as Flossie Carter (Carter was her married last name).

In earlier censuses, I found a Verlin in the Smith household. So there I was with no Flossie and no Vulla and an extra child whom I’d never heard mention of named Verlin. Then one day, like a light coming on in a dark, dusty room, I realized that Verlin was Vulla.  Someone, at some time, possibly me and my siblings with a little help from Gramp, had transmogrified Verlin into Vulla. These sisters seemed to have a language all their own; a language like the language that some twins are said to have although, they themselves, were not twins at all. One of the words in this language was the term, “STORNADO”. If you come back next week, I’ll tell you about “STORNADO”! See ya next week!

 

 

5 thoughts on “Ron’s Time Tunnel: A Comet’s Tale-‘Gramp’

  1. Pingback: Ron’s Time Tunnel: Written In Stone – seekthebestblog

  2. Jet

    Ron, I was also honored to be in your Gramp’s presence as she told her stardust tales. She was a great storyteller and the neighbors would sit entertained by them for hours, staring into yesterday, one or more of them becoming particles of her stardust.
    You apprise us of her sister Vulla. She was a great storyteller too, but that’s not the tale I’m trying to tell. Aunt Vulla was your aunt, but she was also the midwife that delivered you. You became one of those stardust particles when you were born. I was young and was easily influenced by others. I was told not to have you born in a hospital, that it would be easier at home, that I should employ a midwife in lieu of a doctor and the hospital. Well, I SOON learned the truth about that information. As you were coming into this great world of ours; in an effort to relieve the natural pain, I pushed your Aunt Vulla over behind the bed. When you let out that scream to warn everyone that you were here, no one could find Aunt Vulla. Gramp was screaming where’s Vulla? Immediately an arm and a head came from behind the bed. Instead of a tale at that particular time. Gramp’s was overcome with laughter. I am positive this later became one of her stardust tales.

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    1. LOL !!! As ‘The Professor’s’ mother, you have given some humorous and enlightening insight to the debut of our beloved. I agree that your experience giving birth to Ron had to be one of Gramp’s best comet tales!- Gwin

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