Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Talented Tuesday: Grandpa John and the Sunken Patio

Here's another wonderful poem from my very talented Auntie Brenda. Her dad (who also happened to be my Grandpa John Bartram) was also talented in many ways -- including finding ways to get himself into trouble:


By Brenda Bartram Cairo

One Saturday morning bright and early
Dad set out to do Mom’s bidding
Not so happy at this task, he was feeling burly
Now “no drinking today” said she, not kidding

What was that in the bushes I spied...
A gallon of Red Daggo hidden with care
If Mom saw that bottle he would have died
Or maybe worse, Oh, Dad beware!

Now cement mixer's truly humming
Dumping loads of cement and smoothing it out
Every few minutes he’d do a little slumming...
Grab Red Daggo and pull the plug out
Somehow he knew when mom wasn’t looking
Right about noon he really was cooking

His eyes bright pink his words all slurred,
“Hey Mommy, come out, I’m stuck in the center”
There sat that drunken fool all interred
Trapped in cement that was starting to fetter

“What are you doing you drunken fool”
Out in the center oblivious of all, what a lark!
There was my Dad with his cement tool
Making mud pies like a kid in the park
“Mommy look at me! Oh can’t you see...
I didn’t know how much fun laying cement could be”

Into the house stomped Mom, to call Hans and Nina
When they arrived, she’s ready to kill...
Hans bellowed, he laughed “John’s heading for China!”
Then with a tug Dad came out, oh! What a thrill
Everyone laughed, thought, what a lark
Except our Mom, who had no sense of humor
She flew at him like some Great White Shark
She was out for murder, that is the rumor

Nina grabbed Mom’s hand just in the nick of time
Grabbed the hammer she swung at Dad’s drunken head...
Mom stomped to the house, while Dad said, so  sublime,
“Mommy I have not touched one little drink” he solemnly pled

So goes the story, that still lives to this day
When Mom forced Dad, a folly, to build
On that long ago, fateful, warm day in May
Our Great Sunken Patio, where, he almost was killed
Red Daggo most likely refers to the old Red Dagger wine. Grandpa liked cheap wines, so this would make sense. Hans and Nina were good friends of our family for many, many years. I'm sure they were quite amused at the site of Grandpa John drunkenly sinking into his wet cement patio...

Here's one of the only photos I've seen with Grandma Donna, Grandpa John and all their kids together. I love it for that reason, but also because Grandpa looks like he may have been hitting the old bottle a bit just before the photo was shot. 
Back Row, L-R: Clinton James, Brenda Rae, Rebecca Elizabeth (my Mom)
Front Row, L-R: Clayton John, Grandma Donna, Grandpa John


  1. I'm sitting here with Mom, Aunt Brenda, laughing. She says there was always a a dip in the center patio!

  2. I giggled while I was posting this. Our family always cracks me up. =)

  3. After the morning I have had, this was light-hearted, funny story was just what I needed. A crack-up for sure.