Be careful in the attic!

This story about my grandfather is told at almost every family gathering. Even my cousins who have heard it millions of times still request it, especially if there is a stranger at the table. It has only grown in popularity in the family since my grandfather passed away. Usually it is my dad who tells it because he was the one who was there.

My father and grandfather were up in the attic trying to set up a speaker system for the new television. When they got up there my grandfather turned to my dad and very seriously told him not to step on the plywood between the roof beams and only to step on the beams themselves, because he would fall through if he stepped on the plywood. My dad was standing with just his head sticking out into the attic from the stairs and my grandfather continued on into the attic. Then my dad asked him a question, he turned around and stepped right onto the plywood and fell through the attic, just like he’d warned my dad not to. Luckily he threw out his elbows and was able to brace himself against the floor to keep from falling all the way into the basement which would certainly have ended up with him in the emergency room. In his position he was now face to face with my father who just had his head in the attic. He looked at my father who was at once scared and about to crack up laughing as his father had just made the exact mistake he had warned him of. He said, “It’s OK, you can laugh.”

This is one of a huge canon of “Grandpa stories” that, as I previously mentioned, have only grown more popular in the year since my grandfather died. Lots of these stories consist of him warning his children not to do something and then proceeding to do it himself. I enjoy hearing them because my grandfather was very old and frail for my entire life so I like to hear stories about the way he was when he was younger and more active.