As I told you before, the immediate descendants of Ralph A. and Irene Howard Gauvey had a reunion at our house a few weeks ago. Those descendants include my brothers, Ralph E. and Dave Gauvey, and me. Also included in the reunion were Ralph’s wife Fran, and my husband, Bill. A great time was had by all.
My brothers and I talked and talked, and talked some more, mostly about the good old days. It was really interesting to hear the old stories from three perspectives.
I remembered when Ralph got his first car and my mom made him take me along whenever he drove it. I thought my reporting his every move to Mom put me in the pesky little sister role. But he said actually he felt really good about taking me along.
The Halloween party the first night they were here was a revelation to them. They had never seen that much food in one place. Ralph noted it was amazing to realize he was related to all the people there, nearly 100. We didn’t tell him only 75 were family. The others were friends we treat like family.
We also lived a few new stories. One evening we stopped in to see one of our sons who lives in a neighboring town. He is providing a home for 18 different birds, temporarily, his wife hopes. I thought the birds were all in cages, so I passed by them to sit on the sofa. Halfway to the sofa I heard the whirr of wings followed quickly by the feel of claws on my head.
The last time that happened, many years ago, I had just washed my hair when the landlady’s parakeet landed on my head and relieved himself. I still harbor a grudge against our flighty friends.
But I knew I couldn’t hurt this bird because he belonged to one of my kids. I screamed and ordered, “Get this bird off of my head!” thus scaring Fran into a standing fetal position. My son’s wife quickly removed and caged the bird. My brothers wisely refrained from laughing. Actually I think it scared them because I don’t scream much.
The rest of the visit went pretty well if you discount all the looks around for loose birds.
We went out for breakfast one morning. When we returned home, Ralph discovered he left his pill box in the restaurant. I called and they said they found it. Dave offered to take Ralph out to pick it up in the rental car. Since he is a frequent visitor, we knew he could find his way around the old home town.
Ralph got his pill box, walked right by Dave’s car, and got into a similar car parked beside Dave. Dave honked his horn to get Ralph’s attention. Ralph just sat there, wondering where Dave had gone. Finally he turned to see why the guy beside him was honking his horn, saw Dave and changed cars. Ralph’s only comment, “Don’t people around here ever lock their cars?”
When Dave stopped laughing they went on to run a few other errands. Dave was very proud of himself because he didn’t tell anybody about Ralph’s car gaff, until later that night. Then he told everybody.
The morning after they went home I had to run some errands. It was pouring rain so I huddled up in my raincoat and ran for the first store’s door. I forgot to note which row and which parking place I was in. When I came out a little later, I lifted my rain hood and saw the white ball on the antenna of my black Jeep across the parking lot. I put my head down and made tracks. I grabbed the car door, yanked it open, and sank gratefully onto the seat. I took a deep breath and looked around to see my Jeep parked in front of me.
I ran over to my Jeep, opened the unlocked door, and got in, muttering, “Doesn’t anybody lock car doors around here.”
Author’s Note: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate December 4, 2002.
Kathleen Floyd is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her column Back Around the House II. She can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.