Grandpa had a thing for Mae West. He knew he would never have a chance with her, but it didn’t stop him from dreaming. On November 22, 1980, he sat on his couch and wept like a baby as the report of her death hit the news.
“Oh, grow up, you dirty old man,” Grandma said, slapping him with the TV Guide, ripping the cover. “Now look what you made me do!”
Grandpa wiped his tears and went into the basement. His retreat away from life and away from his wife of nearly fifty years. “All you do is badger me, you old bat,” he muttered under his breath at the bottom of the basement stairs.
“I heard that!” Grandma hollered from the living room.
“That woman’s ears.” Grandpa shook his head as he pulled out a pristine copy of Number 7 and reread the interview with Mae West.
Grandpa fell in love with Mae West after she appeared in Klondike Annie. That’s what made him want to move to Alaska, but the further he ever got to the western frontier was St. Louis. He stayed in his basement until he heard the bedroom door slam. It was safe to return upstairs.
On December 8, 1980, Grandma had an epiphany as she sat clutching her Beatles pillow and screaming into it as the news reported the death of John Lennon. Grandpa sat on the couch next to her comforting her. “You’re only human,” Grandpa said.