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Memories of Grandpa and Grandma Jungas

by Frank Jungas

Part I

I'm trying to record something here of what I remember of Grandpa and Grandma, and of Grandpa's garden out here just south of where I live. He had about five acres there and he planted a lot of trees. He did a lot of gardening there. He liked apples and raspberries. I remember we used to go out and pick them there in these little aluminum pails that we had and bring them home to Grandma, and then we'd make up a freezer of homemade ice cream and then we'd have the raspberries on top of the ice cream. Real good.


Grandma Jungas with Frank and his sisters, Helen (York) and Dorothy (Reiff)

I remember staying upstairs there where Grandma and Grandpa lived, before all the apartments were made out of it. I would come home and go upstairs, and about two o'clock in the morning I'd smell something which was so good. Grandma was baking; she baked at night. So I'd get up and go to the kitchen where she had baked and sure enough--here she'd have a bunch of zwiebach put out there. So I'd take some honey and some milk and zwiebach, and I'd really like that. It was very good.

Well, I remember also that I had to help Grandma get into bed at night. It was my duty--or I took it upon myself to be my duty to go up there and put her into bed. She'd sit in a chair out in the living room/dining room there and I'd pick her up and carry her into bed. Even if it was twelve o'clock at night and I'd come home from a late meeting or something, I'd always have to go up there and help Grandma get into bed. Then Anna would cover her up. That was my duty, I felt, and I wanted to do it so I stuck with it all the time until she went into the Eventide Home. Then when she went into the Eventide Home, who took her there but me? I convinced her that she should go for just a little while to see how things would work out because it was too much for Anna, and sure enough when I'd go visit her in the Eventide Home she'd think I was coming to take her back home again. That was miserable for me and it was miserable for her, but we got along.

There's another thing about helping in the store. I grew up in the store. I grew up in the old store that was on the main highway there---the four-story building that Grandpa bought after the first fire there. We had the hardware store on the first floor, and then we lived as a family on the second floor. In fact, that's where I was born--on the second floor there as we were living there as a family. My folks were there too. Then Grandpa built the new store, and I went over there and I started helping them work in the store. I started by just putting stovepipes together, especially by March lst because that was the moving day for all the farmers around here and they had to have stovepipes to put up their stoves and that, and so there were two grooves where I had to put the pipe together and then I'd slip it on a steel sleeve there, and then I'd have a wooden hammer and I'd pound these two things together so it would stay together and wouldn't come apart.

I helped in the store a little bit, and the first time Grandpa asked me in German, "Jung, hast du ein kleines Klippmesser" (Do you have a pocketknife)?" "No, Grandpa," I said. "No, I don't have a pocketknife." "Well," he said, "you can't work in a hardware store without a pocket knife," so then he took me over to where we had the pocket knives for sale and he gave me a real nice pocket knife to put in my pocket. "Now sharpen it," he said, so I took it to the back room where my dad was working and I said, "Grandpa wants me to sharpen this; it looks sharp to me." "No," he said," he'll give you a good test, so you sharpen it." So dad showed me how to sharpen it, and I thought I had it good enough so I went back to Grandpa and said, "I think I have it sharpened enough now." "Okay," he said, "let's try it," so we went down in the basement and in those days we sold 7/8-inch thick hay rope--real thick hay rope, and he pulled a piece of the rope out and he said, "Now, cut it." So I had to cut it once across and back--and if it wasn't done, then it wasn't sharp and so I had to go and sharpen it again. I spent a lot of time sharpening that knife, but I finally got it so that it passed Grandpa's test. He taught me a lot of things, Grandpa did, in the store.

(To be continued)