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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-10-18 05:47
Subject: [personal|family] The mystery of my grandfather Lake and the cracked safe
Security: Public
Tags:family, funny, history, media, personal, texas
My grandfather Lake was, to put it mildly, quite the character. Though he fell quite ill when I was in grade school, and passed when I was in junior high, I have vivid if necessarily limited memories of him. He features prominently in my short fiction, perhaps most of all in "A Conspiracy of Dentists", which is based on a true story about a box full of several hundred human teeth he'd kept for many years. (More about him here if you're curious.)

Dad recently sent me some newspaper clippings from the Galveston Daily News, June, 1950. They're about a theft from a store Granddaddy owned. Or maybe not. He comes across as a sort of low-rent noir character in these. Which wouldn't be entirely inaccurate.

I give you the mystery of my grandfather Lake and the cracked safe. Unfortunately, the resolution of the matter appears to be lost to history.

1950-06-08 Galveston Daily News p 8

1950-06-15 Galveston Daily News p 11

1950-06-27 Galveston Daily News p 14

The building which once housed my grandfather's grocery store in Galveston, TX, at the corner of 10th & K, where the alleged misdeeds took place. He operated this store during and after WWII.

Photo © 2006, 2012, Joseph E. Lake, Jr.

Creative Commons License

This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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User: dionysus1999
Date: 2012-10-18 16:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My grandfather was also an interesting character who died when I was in grade school. My mother recently learned that while he was a cook on a ship in the Pacific during WWII, he was also the go to guy for repairs on the engines. My mother was also told he helped grill German soldiers. She didn't even know he spoke German. How many Germans were even in the Pacific theater? I think this may be more a case of an unreliable source.

I did not inherit his knack for the mechanical, unfortunately.
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User: supersniffles
Date: 2012-10-19 10:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My Great-Grandpa owned the general store in San Juan Bautista, CA. Between him and my great-great-uncle, they were Mayor for nearly 30 years. One of the only parks in town, (SJB is tiny!!) is named after him. (Their sister, Great-Great-Aunt Claire was the first telephone operator for the town, and also the first of my family to be an operator. I was thrilled when my grandma told me that. Since, I am an operator as well.)
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Gary Emenitove
User: garyomaha
Date: 2012-10-19 13:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hi. We don't know each other, but I am fascinated that there are still "operators." I thought this job had totally fallen to automation. I can remember an operator being one of the first things I wanted to be when I grew up ("Boys aren't operators! Don't you want to be a fireman?") Technology and communications are among my interests, so I took a turn and went into radio...which sadly also has become over-automated. Sigh.

Edited at 2012-10-19 01:33 pm (UTC)
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User: supersniffles
Date: 2012-10-19 20:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I started out at PacBell as a 411 operator, but they were cutting down, consolidating and moving jobs to TX.
Luckily I found a job at Stanford University. We answer university calls and hospital calls and clinic calls. It's a nice variety.
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