Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

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Over the Hill with Grandpa

vintage-roadI 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


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At the Therapist’s Office

“Dr. Smith, he just doesn’t understand me.” Sheila dabbed a tissue to the corner of an eye and sniffed.

“Ah, honey, that’s just not true,” said Johnny-Earl. “If anything, it’s the other way around.” Johnny-Earl slouched in the office chair with a sour look on his face.  He twisted and untwisted the ball-cap he held.

“Let’s unpack this a little, shall we?” replied Dr. Smith. “So tell me when things started to get unsettled for you both?”

“We were just fine until he started to bring all his friends around,” Sheila wailed.

“Oh, here we go again… what is wrong with my friends? I have a right to have friends come to my own house, don’t I?”

“It’s my house too!” Sheila turned to Dr. Smith. “He lets them come over, doesn’t tell me until they’re walking in the door, expects me to drop what I’m doing and put in an appearance. They’re noisy and obnoxious, and they leave their crap all over the house. And —”

“Let’s give Johnny-Earl a chance to respond to this. Johnny?”

“They don’t mean to be loud, honey. It’s just the way they are. You knew all about them when I moved in.” Johnny-Earl straightened up in his chair and pointed a finger at Sheila. “And by the way, if you think my friends are so awful, why did go home with Lenny, huh? Care to explain that?”

“It’s not what you think! It’s just that….”

“Go on, Sheila. Finish what you were about to say,” coaxed Dr. Smith.

“It’s just that he’s so nice to me.”

“What?” Johnny-Earl sank back into the chair.

“Yes, the rest of you are always shouting about me, poking fun at the things I say and do. Lenny, is such, such,…. a gentleman.”

“Oh for the love of Pete…..I am so tired of your wailing and moaning about us.”

“Johnny-Earl, we’ve talked about your being more respectful, haven’t we.”

“Yes, sir,” he mumbled. Johnny-Earl took a deep breath. “Honey, I am very sorry that I have been so thoughtless. I’ll try to keep your feelings in mind when I bring the boys around. You know I… I…. I love you.” Johnny-Earl lowered his head and blushed.

“Oh…… sweetie…..” Sheila reached out and touched Johnny-Earl’s arm. “I love you too.” Sheila paused and then said, “If you love me, then would you do something for me?”

Johnny-Earl looked at her and then Dr. Smith. “She doesn’t mean….”

Dr. Smith responded. “We’ve been over this before. You have to do it.”

Johnny-Earl was silent and stared down at the ball-cap he was holding in his lap. Finally, he leaned to one side and reach a hand into his back pocket. He heaved a loud sigh as he laid first one device and then another on the doctor’s desk. “What good is a ghost-hunter without his EMF detector and voice recorder.”

Sheila smiled at him and then faded away.


Happy Halloween, one and all!

ljgloyd (c) 2014