And Now A Word From My Grandmother

June 4, 2007

Grandma and Dave

This is my 86 year old grandmother, Elyse Hays. She’s shown here with my cousin Dave, who is a scoundrel in the best way possible. However, if you were using the word “scoundrel” to describe anyone in this photo, it would necessarily be Dave, even if he were a humanitarian on the scale of Mother Teresa, because look at her.

I took my grandma out to lunch on Friday, and the conversation turned to Idaho, where my father was born, and where she and my late grandfather lived for close to a decade. I was talking about a friend who is considering attending Idaho State for Physical Therapy school, and this triggered a memory for my grandmother. She’s sharp as a tack and rarely misses details when old stories like this come up, so I will relate it here in as close an approximation of her verbal style as I can manage:

“Well, I was in the hospital in Pocotella after Bill was born, and they had me on a wing with all the other officer’s wives. Because Al was still in the service back then. And one day this nurse came rushing in all out of breath, and I thought “oh jeepers what now”. There was a young man, I don’t know if he was enlisted or an officer, but he had gone out on the town Friday night with one of the girls from the town. All the women in Pocotella just loved the Army guys, you know.

The nurse started to tell the story: Their date didn’t go so well, and the girl told him to go take a walk. And so he went and he drank a lot and then he cut off a certain part of his anatomy. And the nurse held up this jar, and there it was. They passed it all around that wing, and everyone saw it, and it was just the oddest thing you’d ever seen.

Now the Army doesn’t allow for self-injury, so he was dishonorably discharged.”

Needless to say, 1) I nearly wrecked my car and 2) we got the wrong scoundrel. I love my grandma.



  1. Your grandmother has kind but mischievous eyes. I love it.

  2. Your grandmother is a darling.

  3. i’m trying to think of a yo’ grandmomma joke, b/c that’s what those previous comments sound like.


    seriously. she’s a cutie.


  4. oh. i love it. *laughs aloud*

    fantastic. and she looks like someone i wouldn’t mind being at 86.

  5. OMG! I have had some bad dates, but I can’t imagine how one could ever be that bad!

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