Johns, not JerichoMay 3, 2011
Grandma Beanie always had abundant energy until it was used up. She then needed to take a nap and replenish before she was again at her energetic best. The naps were amazingly short, but they were power naps. She managed to sleep deeply for short periods of time without hearing anything other than a kid being hurt, or a kid getting into something he or she should not be getting into. I don’t know how she did it but I certainly wish I had that ability.
We had a pool table in the basement on which we could place two boards and a clamp-on net to convert it to ping-pong. The floor was the same concrete it is now. I roller skated around that pool table thousands of times, grabbing the corner pockets to whip myself around faster. We could probably find a groove I wore into the floor if we looked closely.
Grandma Beanie allowed us to decorate the basement for our own recreation room, and we added brightly colored striped curtains to the high windows and posters on all of the walls. A couple of heavy braided rugs completed our decor until Grandpa John hauled in a Ben Franklin stove for our use. We were so cool.
My favorite posters were of e.e. cummings poetry, large yellow and orange daisies (it was the 70s), and one poster that had three footprints facing two footprints with the caption, “I like you; you’re different!” Faded copy of poster designed by Patricia Ellen Ricci, 1971, above.
The only problem with our recreation room was a pesky cement block wall that blocked good pool shots. The end of the pool cue would hit that wall, meaning we needed to contort our bodies to make an effective shot. I never played much pool and always looked contorted when I did, but Johnny was really bothered by that wall and how it affected his pool game.
One Easter Day, Grandpa John and Johnny decided that the wall was coming down.
After a wonderful Easter dinner (ham, not rabbit) and joint efforts in cleaning up all of the dishes and pans, Grandma Beanie went to take her energy replenishing nap on the couch in the family room. Some of us were still at the kitchen table, idly discussing things of interest to seven pre-teens and teens. Grandpa John and Johnny were discussing the pool table in the basement and that danged wall that got in the way. They decided, right then, to remove the cement block wall.
They headed to the basement with sledgehammers and begin whacking at the wall. It began falling to the concrete floor in huge pieces before our eyes and ears. They noisily removed the debris to behind the garage. The removal of the wall left a neat channel in which the cement block wall had stood for over 25 years. Grandpa John placed a jackpost where the wall had once stood, and voilà! Complete.
Most of us watched the process from two vantage points: we observed Grandpa John and Johnny’s progress; and we observed Grandma Beanie’s nap, a mere fifteen feet from the basement door. Not once, during the entire hour of demolition and clean-up, did Grandma Beanie move a muscle. She was having one of her rare long naps and slept through the entire thing. When she awoke she didn’t believe us when we told her that Grandpa John and Johnny had knocked down the wall. She had to go and see for herself. Amazing.