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The Birdseed Episode - F.W. or J.J. and Etta

Story ID:6817
Written by:Charles Dishno (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Dillon Montana USA
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Etta is back. The continuin stories of my dighy grandmother, Etta.

The Bird Seed Episode – F.W. or J.J. and Etta
By Chuck Dishno

This is another story about my dear old Grandmother Etta who lived with us in Bly for 25 or more years. She was loved by all and her funny incidents prompted many stories.

Etta was a lover of all things big and small. She particularly loved cats and at one time we had at least 15 cats of all sizes living with us. Even though cats were her first love we always seemed to have a canary named Ned much to the delight of the cats. They would sit for hours watching the bird. Ned never seem to mind knowing he was secure in his cage and would sing to the top of his lungs. Even though we had several canaries over the years they were always named Ned, no matter what the gender was.

Etta was very particular about the brand of birdseed she got for Ned. She would always have to buy a bag or two when we took our monthly trip to Klamath Falls. Etta rarely never went with us since she didn’t like traveling by car and the trip was too long. You must remember this was during WWII and the speed limit was only 35 miles per hour.

On this occasion she decided she would brave the trip and went along. It was always an enjoyable trip for me because I got to sit in the back seat and listen to my Grandma tell stories. She had a great imagination and would tell of the many Ned’s in her life. I always suspected that she might have had a secret boyfriend named Ned sometime in her past but never found out. If she did, I’m sure he was a beautiful singer.

On Main Street in Klamath Falls there were two-dime stores that have long since gone. They were F.W. Woolworth and J.J. Newbury. These were also my favorites since they both had long toy counters and I could spend hours wishing for some forbidden toy. One strange feature about the stores were that they were both side by side, each had three doors and were painted about the same color, a kind of reddish brown. After Pop had parked the car Etta and I headed for the first store, Newbury’s to buy some birdseed and for me to drool over the toys. We went in the first door and I headed for the toy counter while Etta proceeded to the pet section, which was located right by the front door. She asked the lady behind the counter for a particular brand of birdseed and was told that they didn’t stock that kind but suggested that Etta go next door to Woolworth’s as they might have it. Etta thanked her, went out the door, and promptly came back in the next door as the lady suggested, not realizing she had come back to the same store. After searching for the pet department she ended back at the same counter. She then asked the lady for her brand of birdseed and was told very politely that she had just been there and was told to go to the store next door. Etta thanked her and went out the door and came back in the third door, made her way to the same counter and asked the lady for her brand of seed. By this time the lady was getting very exasperated and told her in no uncertain terms that she had already been there two times and not to come back. The third time Etta finally made it to Woolworth’s and found the birdseed she wanted. She couldn’t wait to get back to the car and tell Mom and the rest of us what had happened. It wasn’t too long before the story was all over Bly and lived in our memories for years.

Etta was quite a lady even if she did some dingy things on occasion.