I remember when

my great grandmother

came to visit us

from the Old Country.


It was my nana’s

first trip abroad, and

her first trip anywhere

on her own.


My great grandfather

had died a year earlier

at the grand old age of

one hundred & nine,

when he was accidentally

crushed to death by

his own hat.


Fortunately for my nana

they had managed to save

a small fortune.


My great grandfather

never trusted banks, so

he kept all of his money

hidden in his mattress,

& he kept his mattress

in a money-market

account, in the hopes

that one day,

God willing, they would

have accrued enough

interest to buy

themselves something

comfortable to sleep



But now

my great grandmother

used that money

to travel to the states

to begin a life anew.



Nana spoke not a

word of English,

and we, in turn, spoke

not a word of

Old Country.


Fortunately, my father

came up with a novel

solution, which came to

him after a night spent

watching Marx Brothers



Like, Harpo Marx,

our nana could learn to

communicate with a



Problem: the only

horn we had was the

horn attached to my

father’s Cadillac.


This was solved by

moving my great grandmother

out of the back cottage

and into the garage.


And over time, she became

quite adept at communicating

with the car-horn.


What follows is a brief list of

what each car-honk meant.


One car honk: Can somebody bring old granny her tobacco?

Two car honks: Old granny is still waiting on her tobacco.

Three car honks: Did every-body forget about old granny?

Four car honks: Old granny is taking the caddy out to buy tobacco


Then came the holidays

and with relatives arriving

we knew we had to find a

better solution …


End of Part One



28 thoughts on “Honk-honk

  1. (1) My granny’s name was Gene Tierney. She was caught speeding in a John Ford on Tobacco Road.
    (2) New World beds feature softer mattresses. You can bank on it.
    (3) Cape Horn is at the southernmost headland of Tierra del Fuego. It was banished to the end of the world because it was always honking so dang LOUD.

    Liked by 1 person

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