Let's see.......last time I had a garage was about 1972. The neighbors kids set it on fire , you know how it is..."Boys will be Boys." I am quoting the neighbor when I informed her that her sons were seen behind my garage with a pack of matches and a heap of dried leaves. I had a boy myself and he was not present at the barbeque of the garage.

When I was very young we had a garage. OK, we CALLED it a garage. The one thing my Dad would never put in it was the car. It was more of an overgrown shed that tended to shift in the wind. (In truth, it didn't need any wind to shift.)

I remember my Granma trying to open the doors to it to look for something. The doors were so stuck that it wasn't possible to open them more than 2 or 3 inches.

It did have windows but they were opaque with whatever it was that had clung to them over the years, and Granma was so upset by that she took her ammonia, bucket and several sheets of newspaper to clean them off. Didn't make a bit of difference because it was the inside that had "Stuff" on it.

Dad came home from work that day and was told that he needed to get those doors open so Granma could search and also clean those windows from the inside.

My Mom keep her lips firmly sealed and added nothing to the conversation. That garage had been shut when she married my Dad and they moved into Granma's house. She knew there was nothing of hers in there.

Dad went out to the garage and started pulling at things. Turned out the walls were more likely to open that the doors.

On the weekend, here comes the wrecking crew. My Mom's Dad and her 2 brothers-in-law and her brother.

My Dad's brother-in-law also showed up. My Granma was the crew boss and if she had a hard hat, she wouldn't have worn it unless it was trimmed with roses and lace. She stood in the driveway and issued instructions and my Dad had to translate them when she would lapse into German or Yiddish. (The madder she got, the more she'd lapse!)

My Mom kept me in the house out of the way. I did spend most of the time looking out the back window so I could see what they were really doing. By this time I was convinced that when they opened the garage there would be a whole new world containing fairies and elves and friendly dragons.

All of Saturday was devoted to shoring up the entire structure with beams of wood. The consensus of opinion was that without that, the doors would be opened and the whole thing would fall into some black hole in the universe. (Had I known Steven Hawking then, I definitely would have invited him over!)

On Sunday, the Irish skipped mass! That was very meaningful. It meant that the Irish didn't want to miss listening to the ball game that would be on in the afternoon so get the job done NOW!

At approximately 1PM everything was shored up, nailed tight, dug out and skewed in appropriate directions to allow the double wooden doors to be opened. The GREAT UNVEILING was taking place!

The doors lurched open to about a four-foot opening before they became lodged in place. My Dad told my Granma to wait until he went in. She made a face at him and grabbed the flashlight from his hand and headed straight for the opening. (It was REALLY DARK in there regardless of the sunny day!) My Mom was on the back porch holding me by the collar to prevent my intrusion into the work space. (T-Shirts in those days really held together and it was like having a choke collar on a Doberman Pinscher.)

From the black hole came a voice, "Ach Mein Gott! Vas ist?" Granma then lapsed into a language I didn't recognize but struck me as being very emotional.

Other than the large family of spiders that started to spew out followed by generations of mice and what could have been a mutant possum, Granma found nothing that she wanted.

She never did get around to cleaning the inside of the windows and she made sure that the doors were closed and nailed shut.

We lived there until I was 10 yrs old and I don't know if the people who bought it ever looked inside the garage.

As curious as I was, I never ONCE wanted to find out what was in there!

  Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)



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