Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mom, Auntie Jo & the Coal Chute

Truck dropping coal down coal chute.
That is not Aunti Jo!
When my parents were young a lot of homes were heated with coal.  Usually there would be furnace in the basement with a coal storage bin nearby.  The coal bin was filled periodically from a passing truck which would open the access door and drop coal down a chute into the bin.

Auntie Jo, Aunt Eileen, Uncle
Tom & Mom
 Once when Auntie Jo was very young the truckers apparently forgot to re-secure the access door to the chute.  Auntie Jo noticed this strange little opening in the front yard and decided to investigate.

Well, she got a little too curious and the next thing she knew, she was sliding down the chute right into the piled coal.  The chute was too steep to climb back up and the bin door latch was too high for her to reach.  Struggling to escape she soon found herself coated with coal dust.

Realizing the hopelessness of her plight, Auntie Jo began to cry.  Her parents hearing the faint cries and noticing her absence began a search and soon located her. Daddy Con opened the coal bin door and found a “little black baby” inside.  Pretty quickly Auntie Jo was in the tub and her clothes in the laundry.

This became an oft-told tale in the family.  By the time all four children (Uncle Tom, Mom & Aunt Eileen also) were teenagers they had all shared many a good laugh over it.  Once when the story came up in conversation between Mom and Daddy Con, Mom happened to say that she remembered when it happened.

Auntie Jo, Uncle Tom, Mom & Aunt Eileen

Daddy Con looked at her strangely, “How could you remember that?”

“I don’t know, I just do.”  Mom replied.

“It’s not possible, Dolly,” he said, “you weren’t born yet.”

These are the tricks our memories play.  Mom had heard this story so many times, in her mind she thought that she had been there and actually experienced the event.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard that story, thanks for sharing. You're a very good writer and story teller.
    Mary Gregory