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  • The consensus among myself and my five other siblings is "Grandma Esther was the shit!" It's true. Gram was my Great-Grandmother, my mom's Grandma. She was a retired secretary from Stone School in Saginaw, MI. I always loved when it was my turn to visit her for a week. We would get ice cream from Mooneys (chocolate marshmallow), settle in on the davenport (I guess that is what they used to call the couch), and we would watch Lawrence Welk.

    Gram wasn't much on appearances. She didn't wear make-up. When she was home she always wore a cotton house-coat with too many used tissues stuffed up the sleeve. She didn't bother cutting her hair either. It was so thin (my curse as well), that, even though it was down to her shoulders she could pin it up with two bobby pins to secure it under her "going out" wig.

    "Gladys," as I called Gram's wig, resided on an end table next to the television, always at the ready resting on her faceless Styrofoam upper body. One night when I was visiting - I must have been about 10:00 p.m. - we were just sitting watching Gram's programs, enjoying a peaceful night.

    The serenity was pierced by the siren of a fire truck careening down Green Street past Gram's house. Nothing like that ever happened on Green Street. It was an "older" neighborhood and the Coroner's van didn't require that much fan-fare. The dead didn't have such a sense of urgency.

    Gram leapt to her feet, snatched "Gladys" from her faceless perch, and proceeded to hustle down the front steps...all the while pulling Gladys on like a knit hat in a snow storm...on her way to find out what was going on in her normally peaceful neighborhood.

    I don't remember what happened that night that caused the neighborhood uproar, but thirty-five years later we still tell the story of Gram and her "favorite hat" and laugh our asses off!!!
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