Things are connected in many ways. But sometimes, connections can kill…
Each week Rochelle Wisoff-Fields posts a pic to write a 100 word story about.
This week it’s about how important things, not only in a family’s history, but how history itself gets passed along.
“It was the turn of the cen-tur-y.” His hard-wrinkled lips sounded out that last word.
“Not Y2k. The cen-tur-y before. Now hush up. Your great-great-grandpop was a coupler, a railroad worker. Made sure the cars got connected proper. It was winter and…”
“I know, grandpa,” little Moe said. “He slipped on the ice. Rail cars crushed him. The railroad people didn’t care. Just put the next man on the job.”
“Yessirree,” grandpa Esau agreed. “Things got better after unions came in…”
Little Moe mouthed those same words as he ran out of the room, yelling, “Later, grandpa.”
Esau smiled, mouthing back, “Smart-ass.”
I don’t see why we don’t give our written stories to kids to edit; they certainly have the knack of editing the spoken ones… 😉 Nicely captured Randy, I’ve been guilty of a few of these conversations myself.
The kids, if not editing those stories, can certainly facetiously mimic them.
You have been guilty of these conversations? Oh, no. Not you, Sandra.
I think many people will remember such converstations with their grandparents. The interaction between these two is so warm and loving. A wonderful story.
Yes, and don’t you just love kids who imitate their eldrs – and elder who use profanity under their breath.
I really enjoyed the interaction between these two. A great piece.
Thank you for having such keen judgment.
Kids just take for granted the rights won before they were born. Just look at the turn-out on election day.
Bingo. You hit the real theme right on the rail tie’s head. Thank you.
I grew up near the train tracks Randy – trains are hope, proof dreams exist, and trains are adventure and flattened pennies
Coins always have two sides.
Inventions always serve purposes, otherwise we wouldn’t invent them – and like the coin, every force of energy has an equal and opposite effect.
My trains were subways and there was a thrill to them, distinct odors, a certain closeness at rush hour, and an isolation, even despair, at late night.
as kids, when we weren’t throwing rocks at the cars, we’d always dream of hopping a train to go somewhere new.
It goes on and on, we don’t even notice the moment we turn into our grandparents. Lovely story, warm and fuzzy. 🙂
Really? I have noticed….
Lovely story, Randy!
Thanks – and a lovely comment, Janet.
It’s so hard to mix up the generations and yet so important to our development. I suspect the kid’ll look back on this story fondly when time and distance make the repetitions useful rather than frustrating.
Let’s hope so – and remembers the lessons.
But as importantly, history is rich and needs to be passed on.
They make fun but they treasure these stories, just as we did.
Family lore can be terrific, fun, and is so important. Randy
Love this one. Reminded me of listening to my Grandfather tell RR stories when I was little. You never forget them.
Hope you share at least one of them this week. Randy
Why didn’t I listen to my elders when I was young? I’d love to hear their stories now and it’s too late. A lot of heart comes through in this piece.
I was always fascinated by the stories that my aunts and uncles, grandparents, and my parents told.
I was fortunate enough to think about videotaping my mother and my aunt is they told stories about growing up in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.
I enjoyed this conversation between old and young and the quip at the end. Nice!
Thanks. Anytime you want to hear more, just let us know. Grandpa Esau loves to tell them – and likes to use a little profanity from time to time.
Nice storytelling. I think Little Moe may have heard the story before, eh?. I remember hearing the same stories over and over from my grandfather too. He’s still a smart ass though. 🙂
We’re all smartasses ultimately, aren’t we?
This is such a sweet story – there is love between Grandpa and child. Good job! Nan 🙂
Thanks. Families that tell stories have a lot of love between them.
I treasure the stories told by my grandmother, father, and mother. My dad’s mother was the only grandparent I had for years. If we’re writers, it gives us some great material. I find I’m repeating things also as I grow older. That’s not all bad as it helps family members to remember. It’s verbal history. Well done, Randy.
yes, but could you tell me that again….
Sweet story! These are the moments (and stories) Little Moe will remember in years to come, and hopefully pass on.
I believe so.
My kids love to sit around and tell “old farts” (their version of old folks) stories.
I hate it when I forget that I’ve told a story before! Hopefully I haven’t done that as many times as grandpa! Yet….
I repeat myself all the time. My mother did that, too – and would laugh at herself.
i say if i repeat myself, then it bears repeating.
I never learned notching the first time. Practice makes for betterment, because nothing is perfect either.
Perfect story in the way you captured real life, subtly letting us know what it was like over a hundred years ago and then returning us to the present as the future runs out of the room and the past mutters, “Smart-ass.” Well done.
You are such an excellent judge and analyst of writing – and you such good taste, too!
Loved it. How many times can one sit through a story? There are times I still could with my grandmother…
How many times you like to watch a good movie?
Take a shower? Eat your favorite sandwich?
Spoon up some good Ice cream?
Very good use of dialog. Some stories are worth telling over and over again.
And even one more time beyond that…. 😉
There are so many things I wish I’d asked my grandfather, Smiling Sam. I wonder if he every muttered smart-ass under his breath. Little Moe has a lot to learn, doesn’t he. This may be my favorite of your stories thus far. Nice.
Smiling Sam, eh?
Shmuel, maybe? and if he said anything at all, he probably said something like, “Oy, a gantze kanocker.”
Kids these days think they have it hard, or at least the ones I have grown up with.
Like what was written above, the turn out for the previous GE here in the UK for young people was terrible. In my mind, that is a slap in the face to all those who sacrificed so much for them to be able to make that decision.
A great story, for as you can tell, it evoked a lot from me.
Yes, our kids need to vote, to understand how the “good life” they have has been “won”, and yet we .too, need to remember that they need to be kids for a while (as we once were) and that the life they are entering into now in many ways is just as difficult – maybe more so – from no jobs, salaries that won’t allow them to live lifestyles that their parents were able to live, and terrible weather conditions, wars, and general world mayhem.
Otherwise, everything is copacetic.
There’s obviously a history of strong connections going back generations in this family. I’m sure the youngster will grow up to value them, in time. Your story shows the relationship between the two characters movingly and realistically.
Thanks. Do you want to hear Uncle Gerard’s stories about…
Nice one. Fast forward fifty years and Little Moe will be telling similar stories, ‘back in the days when we had 4 gig of ram…..’.
Your response has me smiling… nice. Randy
Great dialogue between the ‘smart-ass’ kid and his grandpa. A fun read, too.:)
I think I’ll name that my next story. “The Smart-assed Kid.”
I like that.
“I’m sticking to the union, I’m sticking to the union, I’m sticking to the union …” So cool to see the generations linked and how one influences the other. Great job, Randy!
Perry – was that the union as in “The Civil War”?
and yes, whether we see it, like it or want it – the influences are there, aren’t they?