Grandfather loved to tell this story
about Mr. George Ives and the teapot.

Grandfather loved to tell this story about Mr. George Ives and the teapot.  One day a woman came into Mr. Ives’ General Store wanting to purchase a teapot.  The teapots were hanging on hooks on the top row of shelves.  Mr. Ives would slide one off the hook with a long stick and catch it as it fell.  This day he missed and the teapot struck him on the bridge of his nose.  Mr. Ives was a sedate old gentleman with a white beard.  He was a deacon in the church, and usually very calm and unruffled.  But was he angry when that teapot landed!  He kicked the teapot all around the floor until it was shapeless, all the while saying, "By codfish!, By codfish!"
            Grandfather and his friend, Roswell Brooks, were so amused they went outside so Mr. Ives wouldn’t see them laughing.  The woman shopper was so upset and astonished that she left without her purchase of a teapot.
            A few years later Grandfather had an experience with a teapot at home.  Grandmother always placed the teapot on a trivet near her place at the table.  Grandfather had been teasing her all through dinner and she had had enough.  So she said, "Sid, if you are through eating, I wish you would go to the store for the groceries."  Grandfather, still laughing, walked around to her chair and bent over to say something.  As he straightened up, his suspender caught the handle of the teapot, swung it around, the spout catching in the top of his trousers.  Before he could disentangle it, the hot tea ran down inside his trousers.  He danced about calling for help, then grasped the handle of the teapot, opened the door and threw it out, breaking the nickel spout.  Now Grandmother was upset.  "Just like a child to throw it outdoors", she said.  Grandfather changed his trousers and prepared to leave for the store with Grandmother’s order ringing in his ears; "Don’t come back until you buy me a new teapot!"  Then she had a good laugh with her daughter, Ruth.  Yes, Grandfather came home with a new teapot.
            Aunt Ruth told me this story about Grandfather, and we enjoyed hearing it.  The stove hook, which was used to lift the covers [this was also called a "lifter"] to the kitchen range became unsafe to use, as it would let the hot cover turn and lip off.  The person using it might drop a hot cover on his foot and get a burn.  Grandmother had asked Grandfather to buy a new one several times, but he would forget.  So she hunted up the old-fashioned iron one, which had to be handled with a pot holder so as not to burn your hand.  Of course, Grandfather forgot one day and grasped the hot lifter, which he quickly dropped.  Then picked it up with the holder and going to the door, threw it out into the deep snow bank.  "Well, that was a slick trick", said Grandmother; "you will have to shovel that snow until you find it.  It was the only one we have".   After Grandfather had cooled off, he found the lifter and on his next trip to Winsted came home with two lifters – the new kind.
            Father often took a walk after supper to visit his father and mother for a short while.  One evening, when he went in, Grandfather continued reading and only grunted when Father spoke.  Ruth and Grandmother looked as if they wanted to laugh, but didn’t.  They visited with Father a short time and finally Grandfather threw aside his paper and said to Father, "You should have your ears examined."  This was a strange remark, but Father kept on smoking, waiting to hear more.  Finally the story came out; Grandfather had a contraption fixed on the outside of his chicken house door to keep it securely fastened.  When he entered, he put it to one side, then set it again when he came out.  That morning he took feed and water to the hens, and then found the door securely locked when he wanted to go out.
            This was a problem, as the windows were too small for him to climb out, so he called and called and pounded and pounded, but Ruth and Grandmother didn’t hear.  Then he saw father driving up the road, so he roared, "Ed!" at the top of his lungs.  Father heard him shouting, but thought he was calling the cows from the river after watering them, and on he drove.   Poor Grandfather was out there two hours before Ruth realized shouting had been going on for a long time, and went out to investigate.  Grandfather was angry at them, but more so at father.  He wouldn’t talk, and it struck Ruth and grandmother funny, but it was no joke to Grandfather.  He never bragged again about his "sure stay shut" hen house door.
            Grandfather loved to dance the old-fashioned dances and reels, but didn’t care for other dances.  Grandmother would have "none of such foolishness", but she would attend all dances with Grandfather and enjoy watching the others "cut capers" as she expressed it.
            Grandfather often was the paid prompter too, as he was one of the best callers in their town.
            When Grandfather was very young, he volunteered for service in the Union Army.  He and Grandmother were married when she was 17 and he just 21.  They lived to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

Corn cutting time
What a busy time for Mother and Father when September rolled around, for that was corn cutting time.  Father was the first farmer in Colebrook River to build a silo for storing fresh cut cornstalks for winter feed for his stock.  His first silo was a small square one built inside, and in one corner of the barn, extending to the rafters.  The cows liked the silage so much he decided to build a large circular one outside, but attached to the barn.  He interested several neighbors to do the same and so it became a community affair.

All the farmers helped each other and hired about ten extra men to help with the hand cutting and loading the corn on wagons in the fields.  At first a Mr. Fargo from New Boston came with his machine to fill the silos, then for years Bill Betts did this work.  He had a more modern engine with a blower, which blew the finely cut corn to the top of the silo through a six inch pipe.  Mr. Hurd was the man in the silo.  As the fodder drifted down and the pile grew under the blower, he would shovel it away and then tramp round and round packing the silage down.  We children often had fun running around and helping pack it down.


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