Showing posts from March, 2014

All Out of Grandparents - to the memory of Martha and Stan Coutant

I've been realizing that I have no natural grandparents left. I don't feel THAT old, but I guess I am. Ever since 100-year-old Martha passed away, they're all gone. At least I got to know them all. But the one I knew best was Martha. Not just because she lived the longest, but because she was the most involved.

From the time I was born, Grandma Martha ("Gramma" as we knew her) lived a few blocks away at 666 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Don't look for it, it's not there anymore.
She and Grampa (Stan Sr.) lived in the 2-bedroom house where my dad grew up. They had a swimming pool, where my brother and I learned to swim, dive, cannonball, whatever you could think of.
In their bedroom there was a piece of furniture, old, heavily-stained to almost black wood, with a compartment on each side which had a hinged lid. The compartment on the right was known to us as the "Surprise Box" and, just about every time we went over there, there was a pair of new toys in…