I originally wrote this in 2008 but it seems appropriate for the Daily Post’s prompt Eerie……
Over the Hill with Grandpa
My grandpa told me this story when I was a kid. Most of his adult life, my grandpa worked for the movie studios– MGM, RKO, Warner Brothers. At various times he worked for them as a horse wrangler, grip, and greensman. Sometimes he just did whatever needed doing on the set.
One day, back in the 1930’s, he was asked to pick up a truck in Hollywood and deliver it over the hill to the WB facilities in the Valley. Now Grandpa had a grandfather named James who frequently visited him. On this particular day, James joined Grandpa for the ride over the hill. Back in 1930’s there were no freeways as there are today, and travel to and from the Valley required negotiating narrow, twisting canyon roads. The route they took that day was one of the canyon roads — either Laurel Canyon or Cold Water Canyon Road–I don’t know which. Anyway, as James sat in the passenger side of the truck, my grandpa began the ascent up the road. James was quiet, as was his nature, but just before the truck reached the top of the grade, James turned to Grandpa and said “You need to check the brakes before you start that downhill grade. You won’t make it if you don’t.”
Grandpa had always followed his grandfather’s advice so he pulled over to the side of the road. He got out and slid under the truck for a look. Sure enough, there was a problem with the brakes, and had he proceeded down the grade more than likely they would have failed and he would have careened out of control.
I don’t remember what Grandpa said about how he got the truck down the hill. I don’t remember because I got stuck on what Grandpa said next about James riding along with him. You see, Great-Grandpa James was dead and had been for many, many years.
ljgloyd 2008, 2016