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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Week 38 of Abundant Genealogy

Week 38: Funny Ancestor Stories. Tell us a funny ancestor story that stands out in your mind. When did you first hear the story? Do other family members tell different versions? Does this tale play a large part in your family tree?

Wow... so much  material to draw from.  I have very colorful family members who love to spin a good yarn.  My dad has always told great tales about growing up and all the trouble that he, his siblings, and his cousins got into. 

One of my favorites, one that had my grandmother fuming until the day she died, was about stealing watermelons from a roadside stand.  Now I know that is not exactly a good story to be laughing about, it is about theft after all, but it always makes me giggle.

My father and his brothers were notorious for doing things... well... lets just say not always on the up-and-up.  They never got caught, and always seemed to be just ahead of those that could get them in trouble.  So no harm no foul, right?  My grandfather had just been elected to the Indiana State Legislature and needless to say my grandmother wanted to make sure they were more respectable in their behaviour.  There were quite a few lectures to the kids on this subject.

In the late 1950's the drive from their home in Daviess County to the state capital was very long.  Heck, when I last lived in Indiana it was 3 hours with better and larger roads.  Grandma and the three boys, I don't know where my aunt was, were driving home from dropping grandpa off for a session.  It was getting dark and they were only a few miles from their home town.  Grandma was driving with the new license plates that showed this car belonged to a member of the House. 

All of the sudden dad yells "Mom!  Stop the car!"

She slams on the breaks thinking that something is horribly wrong when all three boys pile out of the car, run across the 2 lane highway, each one grabbing a watermelon under both arms from the roadside watermelon stand, and start running back.  As soon as dad gets back to the car the farmer come out from inside the house with a shotgun.

Dad and his brothers start yelling "Go MOM go!  Floor it!!!"

Grandma not knowing what else to do, confused by what just happened floors it as the farmer begins to shoot at the car.  A few minutes later, once she composes herself, she lays into them.  saying things like "Your father is a member of the legislature!",  "What were you thinking!", "What if he had shot you!", "What if he saw the plates?!", "Wait til your father hears!!" and so on and so forth.

Yeah... she still turned red 30 years later.  One day she confesed that she speed off becasue 1) she didn't want him to shoot her, and 2) if she drove fast enough he might not be able to tell they were government plates.

photo credit: carrie227 via photo pin cc