December 23, 2003

Christmas Treasure

My grandmother lives on a fairly fixed income. My family owns her home in California and sends her money on a regular basis to augment what she gets from the government. Because of this, I was surprised when a small gold fountain pen arrived a few years ago as a Christmas gift. It seemed too expensive coming from her. I immediately picked up the phone to call her.

"Your great grandfather, my dad, was a bit of a shady character. He dealt in a lot of gambling and when prohibition came about, he made some money bootlegging. The thing I always remember about him is his suits.

"His suits were remarkably tailored. He had each one cut and made by hand. And he always had these unique labels sewn into them. He was a well-dressed man.

"One day he and an associate went to meet a client - or whatever it was they called people they collected money from - in a hotel. He was tired when he arrived and despite his partner's offer to buy him a drink at the bar, he decided he'd rest in their room for a while before the meeting.

"After a while his partner started getting a little concerned. My dad hadn't shown up for the meeting and that was unlike him. He was always punctual - punctual and well-dressed. So his partner went up to the room to check on him. My father had been shot, and was lying on his back, dead.

"Whoever had killed him stole his suit. It was just my father lying on that bed in his underwear. The only other thing left behind was that pen."

Posted by Chris at December 23, 2003 1:10 PM

Wow, that's kinda cool that she sent it to you. And the story, it's always great to get stories like that from the family. I found out my great grandfather was a hexenmeister. My mother called him a witchvet instead of a witchdoctor since he treated animals. ok, so that's really weird, isn't it?

I really should go home.

Posted by: Alicia at December 23, 2003 2:49 PM

OMG... that is an amazing story. Precious... brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing... I know you must cherish that pen!

Posted by: Dee at December 23, 2003 3:03 PM

Wow! Very moving! That was really sweet of her to send that to you.

Posted by: FN at December 23, 2003 4:15 PM's stories like that (despite the sadness) that make a person's family history so amazing.

Posted by: tiffanie at December 24, 2003 12:44 AM

Wow, that's quite the family story. Not the happiest, but something kinda cool to pass on to future generations.

Posted by: Jaded Angel at December 24, 2003 2:02 AM

Wow what an amazing story!

Posted by: Rachel in Alaska at December 27, 2003 4:31 PM