| February 6, 2012 6:25 pm

Note: One of the good things (yes, there are good things) about a funeral, is the opportunity to see friends and family, to remember your loved ones, and to hear the untold stories from their lives. As part of the preparation to speak at the funeral, I’ve been talking to friends and family about what they best remember about my grandfather. This story comes via both of his sisters.

Grandpa Stillman and brother, Richard (circa 1932)

From the moment he was born, Grandpa was a trickster. Few moments passed where he wasn’t planning a prank, pulling one off, or fleeing the consequences. (Usually to the dismay of his mother, Florence. Years later, she confided to one of grandpa’s sisters, “The children were easy to raise, except Bob.”)

On one occasion, when 10 or 11, Grandpa had done something so odious (no one seems to remember what), that it had to be punished. For that reason, his mother set about to catch him (usually more trouble than it was worth).

Grandpa had other ideas.

At first, he tried running away, but Great-grandma could run just as far and fast. With that not working, he decided to try another strategy: hiding. Great-grandpa and grandma had a big, bulky bed that was just high enough to sweep under, but not quite so large as to allow an adult to crawl underneath.

This is where Grandpa headed to wait out the storm, with Great-grandma heading right after him. Grandpa, however, made it to the bed (and safety) first and great-grandma couldn’t follow.

Being a smart lady (grandpa got it from somewhere, after all), she decided to try a different tack. Nicely, she tried to coax him out from under the bed. They could talk about what had happened and then everyone could be happy.

Grandpa wasn’t having any of that.

Upon the failure of persuasion and long-suffering kindness, Great-grandma decided to try and grab him. She reached under the bed to snag his feet.

Grandpa wasn’t having any of that, either.

Each time she would get close, grandpa would roll to the other side of the bed, just outside of her reach.

This left only one recourse: brute force. Great-grandma went to the kitchen where she kept the broom and proceeded to clear him from the bed much as you would coax an angry and vicious cat: vigorously.

Again, though, no luck.

Unable to deal with her son, Great-grandma settled for another target: scolding the two young sisters, who had watched and giggled through the entire exchange from the doorway.

I’m not really sure that anyone knows what got grandpa out from under the bed. My personal bet, though, is that it involved ice cream. You could pursue Grandpa to do just about anything with ice cream.


One Response to “Prone to Trouble”

Ruth T. Treat wrote a comment on August 16, 2016

Thank you for sharing this information.It was informative a s usual. Actually I looked up it on wikipedia.

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