PROF. GORDON GREB
Presenting A Series
of Columns Drawn
From Prof. Greb's
This column is taken from
a broadcast over KSJO
in San Jose, CA in 1956
This is Lick Observatory high atop Mt. Hamilton in San Jose, CA,
The Professor might never have seen if not for Aunt Louise.
Seeing Our Great Land Can Be Easy, with Auntie's Help
By GORDON GREB
A funny thing happened to me the other day when I went to my mailbox. I got a
letter from Aunt Louise, who lives in the East.
She wrote: Coming to California. Expect to stay a few weeks and visit the children. Excited about the trip and want to see everything.
With the arrival of this letter, we had a minor crisis in the house. Wife Darlene had to get out the dust mop and the swish broom. Clean clean clean upstairs downstairs front and back. And all the time the place looked pretty good to me as it was.
Now look, I said to my wife. If you keep this up, youll be exhausted by the time Aunt Louise arrives. Slow down, take it easy. She isnt going to look in every nook and corner for dust and cobwebs.
Still theres no stopping a woman who is on a cleaning binge. All you can do is let them exhaust themselves and try to keep out of the way. Of course, it means you have to cancel your golf game, put down your newspaper to carry out the ashes from the fireplace and baby-sit for sonny while mother goes shopping at the store for something special. Thats just the way it is.
But Aunt Louise, bless her heart, isnt all the trouble you thought shed be. She really is a blessing in disguise and you dont realize it until the dear soul has kissed the kids goodbye, stuffed a 50-cent piece into the Piggy Bank, and said, Come see us in St. Louis sometime. Dont forget.
You sit down on the chair when you come back from the SP railroad station in San Jose and look at your wife, saying with relief: Whew! Am I glad thats over with. And then you start to laugh, no matter how tired you are.
Say, wasnt that fun driving up to Lick Observatory to see what the astronomers are doing, you say. Do you realize we never would have gone there except Aunt Louise wanted to see it?
Funny thing, too, that I never before realized that San Jose was the first pueblo or town in California. Aunt Louise pointed that out from the little folder she got from the Chamber of Commerce.
Then junior comes in and says, Daddy, when can we go see the animals at the Alum Rock Park again? I liked them. That makes you realize it had been months since you had taken junior to the zoo. Time had just slipped by. Thanks to Aunt Louise, you made a tour of the park and saw all of its strange animals.
Then you say to your wife, Gosh, Aunt Louise forgot her Chamber of Commerce
booklet. Here it is, right under the chair. You start thumbing through the folder and start reading aloud some of the paragraphs.
San Jose calls itself a City of Firsts. It was the first capital of the state; site of the first English-speaking school; seat of the first legislature; and terminus of the first stagecoach line in California.
Gee, do we live there? asks junior.
We sure do, I reply and continue reading aloud from the brochure:
Santa Clara County is one of the fastest growing places in California. Nearly 3,000 people are moving here every month and all kinds of new industries have picked this area for new plant sites, like Lockheed, General Motors, and General Electric.
Then your wife says, I certainly enjoyed visiting all the old missions. Why, I never knew we had so many and all of them close to home. Mission San Jose Mission Santa Clara Mission San Juan Bautista. Well have to go again.
Then you thumb through the Chamber of Commerce bulletin and read more about your hometown and all of the interesting places right in your own backyard. Lots of
places youve never seen before.
Why," you say to yourself, "if it hadnt been for Aunt Louise, we never would
have gone to see the Egyptian Museum, visited the Winchester Mystery House, or
looked at the historic old silver mine down at Almaden.
Then as you look at the calendar, you realize its time to confirm your trip to New York. As you talk to the travel agent on the phone and he arranges your sightseeing itinerary for the big city, you begin to wonder what youre doing.
He suggests visiting New York Citys famous planetarium to look at all the stars. Also the citys first school and the high rise headquarters of General Motors and General Electric. And oh, yes, some of the old historical churches and-----
His voice seems to drift away as you ask yourself the question, Why am I traveling all the way across the continent to visit these places when there are plenty here we still havent seen?
But you never finish the thought because the man is talking about the bill for your trip and the arrangements to have it paid. Later you hear yourself telling your wife to write Uncle Albert, Tell him were coming this summer, that you want to see the sights, and would he please meet us at Grand Central Station.
©2012 by Gordon Greb. This column first posted July 2, 2012.
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