Ben Franklin & a Piece of Pie
Contributor: kevsha Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
When I was 11 years old, my Dad and sister Jody, and I, went on a two-week summer road trip to the Eastern United States (from Monticello, Utah) with my Grandpa Ned (paternal Grandfather). It was a wonderful adventure -- just the four of us. We visited many large cities (i.e. Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Washington D.D.) as well as a number of Church History sights (i.e. Nauvoo, Carthage Jail, Kirtland, Palmyra, and the Sacred Grove) along the way.
My Dad got us all "sippers" (32 ounce plastic containers with a straw attached) and would let us fill it up with soda whenever we would stop at a convenient store. Jody and I sat in the back seat of Grandma and Grandpa Jensen's Chevrolet Celebrity car. We had a cooler in our trunk and would keep it stocked with lunch meats, etc. for lunch. Jody and I would sometimes tussle (for fun) in the back seat. I would charge over to her side after yelling "Ready Men!" as if I was summoning my soldiers to charge, upon which she would reply, "Ready Women!" before charging my army over to her side. That made me laugh pretty hard and we would laugh and laugh as we clashed our "armies" over and over again.
Grandpa was retired and fairly old (73) when we joined us on this trip. As such, he lacked the energy to join us for dinner after checking into the motel; he preferred to just bed down and watch t.v. As such, Jody and Dad and I would usually go to dinner by ourselves. The first night of our trip, we stayed in Ogallala, Nebraska, not far from the largest Dairy Farm I have ever seen (before or since); man did it stink! That night, we brought Grandpa home a "surprise" from dinner. I don't remember what it was, but it was probably a dessert of some kind.
Well, we found out the next night how much he enjoyed/appreciated our "surprise" because after checking into the motel in Iowa (a Super 8 in, I forget which town), Jody and I went back to the hotel to get something we had forgotten, upon which Grandpa pulled out his wallet, handed us a Ben Franklin ($100 bill, which was a LOT of money to a kid and a teenager in 1991) and said to us, "Will you get me a surprise? Maybe bring me back a piece of pie?"
We thought that was one of the funniest things we had ever heard! Asking for a piece of pie and giving us a $100 bill to buy it with. I think we were both tempted to ask if we could "keep the change," but we didn't have the heart to do that to Grandpa, so we just got him his piece of pie and returned the balance of the money to him afterward. He was very grateful for his "surprise."
As I recall this memory nearly 30 years later, I see now that the memory itself is worth far more than all that change would have been. This was one of many experiences us grandkids had that gave us insight into our Grandpa Ned's thoroughly authentic and one-of-a-kind sense of humor. We cherish that humor, and the memories even more so.