Perhaps the greatest mystery in life for the male gender is shopping for females. Combine that with an adolescent’s natural absence of cognitive thinking and you’re guaranteed a doozie of a present.
And so it was for Gladys one year for her birthday (actually, it turns out this may have been a Christmas gift, but we’ll talk about today since today is Gladys’ day).
It seems Bruce got the idea the three boys should go down to Knapp’s Department Store and pick out a gift. For those of you unfamiliar with the store, Knapp’s was synonymous with great quality and, of course, expense.
“We found the perfect gift,” says Jerry. “It was a beautiful, wood, card table-like, game table with a shiny roulette pointer, a checker board, and other game designs. They say we often get gifts for others that we would like for ourselves. This may have been evidence of that.”
Apparently Gladys wasn’t too happy with the gift, especially when she learned the boys charged it to her credit card.
“I may have been 14 at the time,” says Bruce. That means Duane was 16 and Jerry was 11.
Perhaps the table didn’t go over well back then, but over the years generations of kids and adults have gotten lots of enjoyment from it. In fact, Duane still has it (come to the reunion and check it out!)
Anyway, Gladys obviously was a tolerant woman. And as Bruce said in last week’s post, she put up with a whole lot raising her boys.
You may remember a post back in February, when the three guys described their household as the place to gather for all their friends. Gladys would come home from work to broken decor such as her couch and chandelier.
“Mom had a pretty good temper once in a while,” says Jerry. “It would flair up.”
“Oh yeah, I remember her chasing me around the dining room table with a spatula. I had done something,” says Bruce. “We went round and round that table. Finally it got kind of ridiculous and we both started laughing. By that time, she forgot what she was going to spank me for.”
Duane relayed a similar story.
“Once I was playing with matches at the dining room table,” says Duane. “I built a little house out of wooden matches and then lit it on fire. It didn’t burn through but it charred the wood. Oh, I saw her temper then. She had a frying pan. Same thing happened—she chased me round the table until it got funny. She let me live.”
Even at the end of a weary day, when the comforts of an inviting bed should have awaited her, Gladys didn’t always find rest.
“Once I was working on a project and I needed some wood,” says Jerry. “So I took slats from Mom’s bed. That night she got into bed and the whole thing collapsed.”
Sigh…(along with the chuckles).
That Gladys—she sure was quite a woman, wasn’t she?
And how wonderful that her three boys grew up to become loving, doting sons who took great care of their mother.