My nephew, Kenneth was born October 5, 1980. Being the first great-grandchild, and the son of a favorite grandson, he was a great hit with his paternal great-grandparents. In January, 1981, his great-grandfather, Clyde, passed away- less than four months after Kenneth was born. These details are important for the story come. When Kenneth was about three years old, he was visiting his grandparents, who lived beside the home once occupied by Clyde, and by his wife, Vivian, who still lived there. On this particular day, Vivian was gone on an overnight trip with a group from the local Senior Citizens chapter, visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Kenneth was in the habit of visiting “Momaw Bibin”, as he called her, as often as possible, for she never failed to provide him with a special treat-a sucker or candy bar, purchased for just such an occasion. Kenneth had been visiting his family next door, when he decided that he should make a trip for a treat, not realizing or understanding that Vivian was not home. He slipped out of the house, and across the lawn to his great-grandmother’s front door.
A short while later, he reappeared at his Grandmother’s house, munching quite contentedly on a chocolate bar. When we realized what he was eating, we asked him where he had acquired the candy, to which he replied, “Up Momaw Bibin’s”. Now, this was a seemingly impossible feat, for Vivian was out of town, the doors to her house were locked, and Kenneth was too small to have been able to reach the candy, which was kept on a high kitchen shelf, even if he had been able to enter the house on his own.
When questioned further, all he would tell us is that “Papaw opened the door and let me in, and got the candy out of the cabinet and gave it to me”. He was unable, or unwilling to describe the man that had helped him, but seemed very happy and content as he munched on his candy bar.
We later checked , and found no doors unlocked , and having a key, even investigated inside, but found no trace of anyone or anything out of the ordinary. I’ve recently questioned Kenneth, just to see if he remembers, and though his memories are fuzzy, he can recall entering the house and receiving the candy bar. But as for describing his “helper”, he says he draws a blank.
© Paulette Boyd
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