I don't remember Grandpa Pahl as well as I would like. He had already begun to loose his faculties by the time I started to become aware of my surroundings. One of my earliest memories of him, also turns out to be a pretty funny story--at least from my perspective.
I was about six or seven years old and school had just finished for the year. My father had agreed to let my mother take me and my brother's and sister up to Grandpa's property in the Catskills for a week or so. I had only been up there once or twice before, but I knew that I had a lot of fun the last couple of times I had went. My father drove us upstate took long enough to verify that there were no 30 foot snakes or bears lurking in the vicinity to eat his kids and then drove all of the way back to Long Island.
A day or two later I was following Grandpa down to the cellar to help him get something when we saw a field mouse scurry across the floor. When we went upstairs I told my sister to watch out for the mice (I knew it would scare her)! As I hoped she made a fuss. To make my sister feel better, Grandpa decided that he and I would set out a number of mousetraps. Since I had caused the stir, he gave me a couple of dozen traps and told me to put them around the property. He show me how to set the traps and showed where to place a few in and around the basement and then told me to put the rest around the cabins and the trailer.
I had placed places most of the traps and had gotten to the last cabin--the one closest to Eisenbachs. I set up the remaining traps and placed them on a chair in the cabin and went to look for him. After all these years if I set these traps there to snap on one of my brothers (who were sleeping in the cabin) or if I was really just left there till I found out where else Grandpa wanted me to put them. I don't think we will ever know!
Unfortunately, Grandpa found the traps before I found him! To make matters worse he found them by accidentally sitting on them! Not long after that he found me! He didn't yell or spank me, he just told me to go and get all of the traps that I had just set out. He had already started a fire in a fifty gallon drum when I brought them back to him. We then spent the next hour or so watching as he burned the offending traps.
12 February 1999