There is a list of reasons one mile long on why I love Granny Stroh.
One item on that list is her storytelling.
She tells witty, funny stories about Chris’s dad, Jeff and Jeff’s brother, Alan, as boys growing up in a small town where Grandpa Stroh was a sheriff. There were some really good short stories not necessarily appropriate for public consumption that I’ll keep to share with our children.
And then there was this one.
Grandpa had arrested a fellow in town and was responsible for transporting the prisoner down south to Canon City, to the big prison there. I guess because it was the 1950s and rules were a little more relaxed in western towns on the eastern plains of Colorado, Grandpa decided to drive the prisoner to Canon City in the new family DeSoto he and Granny had purchased. And what with Granny not too busy, she came along for the ride too. Three and a half hours one way. One Grandpa, one Granny and one hand-cuffed convict in the back seat.
They stopped once along the way so they could all get a hamburger and use the facilities. All went well at the restaurant and Grandpa re-cuffed the convict’s hands behind his back. The trio got back in the Desoto. They were on the road for a few miles when the trouble began. Perhaps it was the energy from the hamburger lunch. Maybe it was just a last-ditch effort to make a break for it. On a deserted highway, the prisoner started kicking at the front seat in an attempt to knock Grandpa out of control of the vehicle. Then, he leaned over and started kicking in the direction of Grandpa’s head, much to the horror of Granny. A scuffle ensued and Grandpa kept driving as the convict wriggled all over the back seat trying to get Grandpa to drive off the road. Granny panicked as she tried to figure out how to stop the fight.
She thought of smacking the convict with her purse, but was instantly disappointed when she realized she had chosen to wear a straw purse that day — of all days! She then remembered a giveaway from a sheriffs’ convention a few weeks earlier that was in the glove compartment – a flashlight! As Grandpa swerved the DeSoto on the highway and the convict continued to flail from the back seat, Granny reached for the flashlight, gripped it tight and turned around and hit the convict over the head, several times, until he passed out.
She got him good!
When they arrived at Canon City, the convict was groggy but calm and in good health.
Of course, my first question was, “Did Grandpa charge him with assaulting an officer?”
“Oh no,” Granny smiled. ”But later, the prisoner did write a letter to me and Grandpa thanking us for saving his life.”
People certainly did have good manners back then.
Every moment of our weekend with Granny was a highlight. From tooling around Tubac to reading and napping in the living room to playing dominoes and drinking Moscow Mules on Saturday night.
She’s so easy to love.
So is that Sonora Desert.
Kinney Road, Tucson
C’s favorite. Saguaro cactus.
My favorite. Tubac.
Just leave me here. I’ll be fine. Really.
Grove after grove in pecan country.
Barn swallows love August in Green Valley.