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Showing posts from February, 2011

That Creep Who Became My Grandfather

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Sometime during World War II, a woman named Joy was insistent that her friend Lily join her in supporting the troops on USO nights at the YWCA.  Lily really was not interested in going to these events to spend time with the servicemen.  Every USO night, which were Wednesdays, Joy would come over to pick up Lily, so Lily decided to get ready and leave the house before her friend arrived.  Joy was too smart though, and anticipating this, she arrived even earlier to pick up Lily.  And so, Lily was stuck accompanying her friend to these events.

(Update: 1/16/16 Going through old photos, I found a picture of Joy.)


There were different things to do at these USO nights, but the main things seemed to be playing at a mah jong table and dancing with the servicemen on leave.  On one particular night, Lily was playing mah jong when she saw a young serviceman walk by the table several times, who seemed to be pausing to look at her each time.

"Who's that creep?" she asked her table mat…

Insecticide 911 - 2011 Rewrite

I liked this story so much, I felt that 16-year-old me didn't do it justice. 31-year-old me figured I could do a better job.  I'll let you be the judge... :)

It was a hot day in August. Well, a hot day for August to a six-year-old kid in South San Francisco, so it was probably around 80 degrees.  I had run out of things to do that day.  Sesame Street was over, and all that was on was the news. My only job was to tell my grandmother when the soap operas came on so she could change the channel again to make sure that we continued to watch the news.  This was mind-numbingly tedious for me, but at least I felt like I was helping out.

Because school was out, I was spending the day at my grandparents' house like I did every workday during the summer.  My mother would drop me off at their house every morning, and my father would pick me up after work in the evenings.  Luckily for me, it was a Tuesday, so my grandfather was home, in addition to my grandmother, who was home every d…

Insecticide 911

When I was in high school, I had to write an autobiographical incident for an English assignment. I edited it a little bit, but this is the story I wrote...

Every day during the summer, until I was in seventh grade, was spent at my grandparents' house in South San Francisco.  My mother would drop me off in the morning, and my dad would pick me up on his way home from work. My grandfather did not have to work on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so on those days he would do chores around the house or play with me.

It was a Tuesday in the middle of August. My face was flushed as I flitted about the small one-story house.  Their tiny home on Franklin Avenue had been theirs since my father was seven years old. Needless to say, the house had been through quite a great deal.  Like all older homes with cracks and crevices that increase over time, my grandparents' house tended to have problems with ants.  The miniature, black workers always found some way to get inside, past all of the poison,…