When I was growing up, I was considered by my family to be the pet pig. This was because I was the baby of the bunch, and for 12 years I remained that. During this time, I was doted on and given free reign of the place, and I got by with a lot more than I probably should have.
Me at age 2. Those pants prove I was at the height of fashion.
I’m pretty sure that I was my granddaddy’s favorite grandchild, and I could get anything out of him or do anything and it’d be just fine. He was so proud of me, he’d tell people, “That boy can drive hen shit to gunpowder.” That’s how good I was.
Now this isn’t to say that the other kids, including my brother who is only 18 months older than I am, were slighted in any way, I’m just saying that I got by with more than my fair share because of my pet pig status. I remember one time when we lived on the farm, I got a BB gun for my birthday. I was out playing in the side yard and my brother was in the upstairs window, making faces at me. He apparently thought he would be safe from my vengeance, but I proved him wrong, I shot at him through the window. He dodged to the side, and I waited…he poked his head back in front of the window to see if I was still outside, and when he did, I shot again. Another windowpane bit the dust. This continued until I had shot every window out of that upstairs bedroom. As soon as I’d shot out the last one, Jason hollered out, “Mom…Matthew’s outside shooting out the upstairs windows.” Mom then came outside and investigated the situation and took my BB gun away, and told me I was going to have to pay for those windows, and she was taking by $2 allowance to do so. It wasn’t but maybe a half hour later, and after a talk with my granddad, that I got back my BB gun. He also gave me $2 and told me not to shoot out anymore windows...and not to tell Mom!
Me, my Granddad and my Uncle Tom in 1986. Notice my beaver pose!
I remember how I used to stay overnight with my granddad and we’d go riding around in his huge red International station wagon named “Belvedere”. Belvedere had a front seat, a back seat and an enormous back end that usually was filled with kids and chainsaws. I know those two don’t mix, but I remember always hating to have to find a seat where you wasn’t up against a chainsaw chain.
This is exactly was Belvedere looked like on she was fire engine red! Photo from motormint.com
One time, when I was about 5 years old, just me and my granddad was coming back from the store in Belvedere (by now you’ve probably realized I never missed a trip to the store) and I only knew my numbers up to 100. Belvedere registered up to 120 miles per hour, and I wanted my granddad to sink the needle in the straight stretch going out Germany Valley. However, I didn’t tell my granddad to “Go a hundred and twenty”, instead I said what I knew “Go Twelve-O, granddaddy, go twelve-O”!! Well, Belvedere might have registered 120 mph, but it certainly couldn’t go that fast, looking back I doubt that it could have went 120 mph if it was falling straight down a well. Granddad used to have a saying about how much power Belvedere had, he would say “It couldn’t pull a sick woman off of a shitpot”. I believe that says all you ever need to know about Belvedere!! Let’s suffice it to say that it never did go “Twelve-O”.
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