I am leaving tomorrow for a Faux Family reunion. It was about 19 years ago that the patriarch of the family passed away. I will always regret that he didn’t live to know he had a great grandson named after his father.
My grandpa had false teeth and could rattle them while still in his mouth. Then he would stick the upper plate out for cartoonish buck teeth and bow back and forth. (I didn’t know he was doing an impolite Chinaman.)
Everyone called my grandpa Foxie. He had fox figurines all over his living room along with a mantle clock and candy jars.
One sweltering Phoenix summer Grandpa took my sister and me to the dime store behind his house to buy water pistols. When mine didn’t work he took me back to the store with it and told the young ladies at the counter we needed a new one.
Taking merchandise in and out of a store was an unspeakable crime to me. And there we were with the old water gun pouring the water into new ones and testing them out.
As we did that I hoped my grandpa would not make a scene and refuse to pay. But when he was satisfied with a new water pistol we put the faulty one back on the shelf and headed out. I held my breath as we passed the counter.
“Here’s one for the same price,” my grandpa said.
“Okay, Foxie,” came the reply.
Of course they knew him. I should never have forgotten who my grandpa was. And I’ve tried not to since.