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“Back when we was growin’ up we’d catch 12 pounders all the time.”

“You’d catch 12 pound Bluegills, Grandpa?”

“No, we only caught Northern Pike back then.”

“In your pond?”

“No, up on the ‘ole lake.”

“Lake Erie?”

“Lake Chautauqua.”

“Where’s that?”

“Up north, kiddo.”

“Gotcha. Who are those other guys in the picture?”

“This was your uncle Charlie. He’s on the left.”

“Do I know him?”

“No, he died before you was born.”

“Who’s next to him?”

“That’s my ‘ole bud from the lake, Louis. He’s long gone.”

“Oh, okay. And that’s you? In the hat?”

“That’s what it says.”

“Who’s the guy in the white?”

“My uncle. His name was James.”

“Was he nice?”

“He was real nice. He used to give us kids beer all the time.”

“Then who was he? In the vest?”

“Oh, that was Clarence. He joined the Marines a year or so after that.”

“So who were you writing that to?”

“Your Gramma Doris.”

“Why? Did she forget what you looked like?”

“I was just teasin’ her. She said I’d come home all tan, and she wouldn’t recognize me.”

“Why did they spell Kiefer weird?”

“Everyone spelled it differently back then. Only your Gramma would get her panties in a twist.”

“You didn’t get mad?”

“Nope, people knew what they meant when they spelled it.”

“Were you married to Gramma Doris then?”

“No, this was the summer of ’79. I asked her to marry me just a month or somethin’ later.”

“When did you have Daddy?”

“He was our honeymoon gift.”

Story by Allison B. Kiefer

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