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  • Daniel Gordon was a scientist, a poet, and, most of all, a pistol. That man was always up to something. He was also my great grandfather and, really, nobody benefits from being around a pistol like a great grandkid does. Great grandparents are amped up aunts or uncles, willing to teach you how the world really works and fill you in on the how-tos of practical jokes, but without any fear that the other relatives will give them the stinkeye for doing so.

    Really, who was going to give the stinkeye to a man born in 1897? A man who sprinkled wheat germ on ... everything. A man who walked so much he always seemed to be nailing new taps onto the heels of his black ankle boots. A man who sent his great grandkids science kits from The Sharper Image, long before it became a place to pick up new headphones in the airport terminal. A man who married a woman named Daisy, my lovely great grandmother, and raised a daughter he'd nicknamed Bunny. Really, who? Even Daisy, sweet Daisy, could barely keep from laughing when the joke was on her.

    So, one day, if you see a nickel on your bathroom floor, don't try to pick it up. There's a good chance I superglued it there. Dan used to do that. He loved hearing the frustrated gasping sounds of girdled old women bending over to claim their treasure.

    Dan's been gone for 29 years but, I'm pretty sure, he's been waiting for me to get the superglue out. Somebody has to carry on the family tradition.
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