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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On His Grandparents

As a kid I often visited my maternal grandparents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You could tell my grandfather, as a young man, had been a handsome devil. Because my grandmother was quite overweight and wore false teeth she must have purchased secondhand, you couldn't envision a younger version of the woman. Even though I didn't know anything about marriage, I didn't think they had a good one. He constantly referred to her as The Old Bat, and said he must have been born married because he had no recollection of being single. She frequently reminded everyone that he was a dimwit who had no memory at all. She often hid his pipe for fear he'd burn down the house. On many occasions he would pull me aside and warn me of the perils of marriage. "Don't do it," he would say, "a wife will wear you down then throw you away." My grandmother died first. She tumbled head-first down a flight of cellar stairs. I often wondered if someone had helped the old woman get down those steps so fast. I never married.

Thornton P. Knowles

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