This story is one that I have pondered over in my mind for a couple of months now. I believe that it is one of those stories that possibly you would just had to have been there to get the real hilarity of it. I will try my best to do justice to the incident. As in most of my stories thus for, I have to tell a story or two in order to get down to the story that I actually want to tell, so please be patient in your reading, there is a story here....
Anyone near or around Bell City and knew my dad, knows that he liked his drink. Beer was his drink of choice, although he did usually keep a pint of peach brandy in his top dresser drawer (and that will be another story some day).
I wouldn't go as for as to say he was an alcoholic, he was a road grader man for the township and worked every day that the weather permitted, but about every couple of weeks he would get up on Saturday morning and go get a 'hair cut'. Which in short meant that he was going to Vanduser or Hilltop or to 'the beer joint' as mom used to call it.
He would usually stay all day and when he came home late in the evening he would be rather 'soused'. He never was mean to us kids or mom when he drank, rather the contrary. When I was sixteen and just got my drivers licence, I would wake up on Saturday morning and pray that dad would go drinking, because when he came home he would pitch me the car keys and $10.00 or $20.00. I have felt very guilty over the years when I remember this, not so much at taking the car as much as taking the money, I know that mom probably cringed when I would grab the money and run, because looking back, I know that it was money that they desperately needed.
Now, when dad would go spend all day we all knew what was coming when he arrived home. Mom was waiting on him! He would sit down at the kitchen table and drink his coffee, and mom would fuss, and fuss, and fuss at him. Mostly because he had spent money that we needed. He would just sit there, and listen, and not say anything at all back to her. After a while of drinking coffee and listening. he would all of a sudden just get up and say 'I have heard about all of this I want to hear' and go to bed. That would make mom madder than ever. I think if she could have gotten a gun she probably would have shot him right there.
Now this one particular Saturday, dad got up and made the announcement that it was time to get his hair cut..... yep, he was going to the tavern. He of course stayed all day and when he came home late that afternoon, low and behold he 'tried' to announce to all of us that he had came upon some new teeth. He and mom had both had their teeth pulled a few years before, and they always said that they were going to get them some false teeth whenever they could. But when he came home he had this pair of false teeth that was way to big for his mouth, and every time he tried to talk, these teeth would go side ways, and nearly fall out. I thought I was going to die I was laughing so hard at him. When asked where in the world he got these teeth he proudly announced that 'Hank let him try them to see if he liked them'. OH YES!! he had someone else's teeth in his mouth!!! Mom was furious with him for being gone all day anyway, much less coming home with someone else's teeth. She would fuss at him a minute or so and then turn her back and laugh, fuss a little, laugh a little. Every time he opened his mouth these teeth would nearly fall out. He would say 'damn things won't stay in'. OH MY GOD, I was nearly on the floor laughing so hard at him. The story has been told, that the next day he got up early and went up to the 'pool hall' to have his morning coffee, as was his habit as long as I can remember. Hank comes in the cafe and sits down by him on a stool. Hank says, "damm,Goob! I don't know what happened yesterday, but I lost my false teeth." Dad starts laughing and reaches in his shirt pocket and says "well Hank, I think I found them."
Needless to say these two friends never lived this story down as long as they both lived. Dad left this world in 1974 still toothless. Before he died, he made his peace with the Lord, and even after the Dr.s told him that it would help his kidneys if he would drink a beer a day, he would not touch one. I remember thinking, how ironic, he has drank his whole life, and now that he is on his death bed and it might actually help him, he would not have any part of it. Hank, or Henry, used to come in the cafe when Don and I owned it in the 90's and he still would laugh about the day when he and dad shared a pair of false teeth. Henry has been gone several years too.
Although, I think this sharing of the teeth was about the most gross thing I have ever witnessed, it was also the most hilarious moment of my childhood. I think about it quite often when I think about my dad. I will always remember that proud look on his face as he showed us his new teeth and also the despair on my mom's face. As mad as she was at him she couldn't keep a straight face either...........
As I said at the beginning of the story, I am sure the total hilarity can not be written down on paper, I am positive that you had to witness the sight in order to really appreciate it. It is a sight that I will never, ever forget........