SKIP’S GRANDMA LOIS… HANG ON TIGHT, GRANNY!
BY GLORIA FAYE BROWN BATES aka GRANNY GEE
Skip grew up close to his Grandma Lois. She was his father’s mother. Grandma Lois was Director of Nursing at the hospital where they lived. Skip loved going to the hospital as a young guy to talk to the nurses who worked under her.
The nurses would be talking and laughing with Skip … he was a handsome young man! Grandma Lois would come walking up the hall… they’d scatter going back to work. She was very stern with them, and didn’t like them to be ‘playing’ on the job. She was of the ‘old school’. She was very professional.
She was a very serious-minded person, though she did have a sense of humor. She could play music… by ear. She didn’t know how to read music, but, she could play the old-timey piano she had, singing for family and friends who came to visit her. Grandma Lois could play the guitar, mandolin, and banjo. She loved to sing songs such as ‘Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey‘.
Grandma Lois loved to eavesdrop … she was on a partyline of six. Skip would come into the door talking and she’d hush him up quickly! She loved to eavesdrop on Lizzie, one of her neighbors. She’d talk about Lizzie after going to church …she’d tell Skip all about what Lizzie wore. One of the times was that Lizzie wore a tacky hat that day. Skip asked her did it have more feathers than hers?
Skip described the car to her, it was a 1966 Chevelle Super Sport, 396 cubic inch engine, 375 glorious horsepower, with enough power ….’to pull the doors off hell’! (Skip didn’t tell Grandma Lois about ‘all that glorious horsepower’). It was a beautiful copper-brown color. The seats were of soft, black leather… bucket seats. It had a 4-speed transmission. It was truly a beautiful… fast machine!
Grandma Lois called up Jimmy, the bank rep. She told him about the car, that she’d sign the bank note when the car got there… they’d order it and it’d take 3-4 weeks to be at the car lot. He told her that she needed to come up there to sign the papers now… Grandma Lois said to him ‘Jimmy, I’ll sign those papers when the car gets here, don’t hand me a bunch of junk now, I changed your diapers when you were a baby!’
The car finally came…. Grandma Lois and Skip went to pick it up. There it sat on the car lot… pretty as a picture! Skip felt excitement as he stood there looking in awe at it!
He and his Grandma Lois went inside the office to join the salesman and bank rep (Jimmy). She signed the papers, they all shook hands. It was time to leave in Skip’s new car!
They got into the car, Skip drove it gingerly as possible to go through the gears. Grandma Lois was very relaxed. The motor sounded like a song bird. They drove… the trip home was 18 miles…
Grandma Lois asked Skip to stop at the local country store where Skip and his friends hung around. The locals played horseshoes there… there were always alot of men challenging each other to a game. When they drove up and stopped, alot of friends of Skip’s was there.. they all looked at his new car. They loved it!
Skip’s Grandma Lois wanted a can of snuff, she wanted Skip to buy it for her. She never let anyone know that she dipped snuff. Skip got out, went inside, bought the snuff and two bottles of soda. He came back out and got inside the car. He started the engine…
His friends began yelling for him to ‘show them what that car could do!’ No one had a car like that around there, they loved it. Skip yelled back that he couldn’t … his grandma was in the car.
Then…. Skip sat back in that seat … the feeling came over him that was too strong to ignore! He wanted and felt he needed to ‘unleash the power’ in that Chevelle! He wanted to show his friends ‘what that car could do!’
He backed out gently into the road…he let the car come to a stop. He put it into 1st gear………. all of a sudden …’all hell broke loose!’
He dropped that clutch, put the accelerator to the floor! His Grandma Lois was pegged to the back of the seat! Then….. he went for 2nd gear!
Grandma Lois lurched forward, was thrown back against that seat again! Skip went for 3rd gear… once again Grandma Lois went forward, and was pegged forcefully against the back of that seat!
Skip threw it into 4th gear, it happened again… Grandma Lois was thrown forward and again… she was pinned to her seat. Skip looked down, he was going 110 mph, they had gone less than a quarter mile down the road!
Grandma Lois had begun to holler ..’slow this damn deathtrap down and let me out!’ Skip slowed down to 50 mph. Grandma Lois was furious! ‘Why did you take off like that!’
Skip told Grandma Lois that the salesman had told him he needed to do that for several times… ‘that was part of the breaking-in process’! Grandma Lois didn’t say a word. Skip drove normally the rest of the way home.
Later, down at the country store Skip met up with his friends. They were excitedly talking about his new car. What a car! They had never seen a car run like that! One guy said ‘it ran like a scalded jackrabbit!’
Grandma Lois did ride with Skip again, he never took her on such a ride again. Two months later …Skip left for the Army. He left his Grandma Lois with the memory of ‘the ride of her life!’