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A Window On My World

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Posts will be published on occasion and irregularly as I am able.
Some of these posts are from my web site The Garden At Crocker Croft.
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Sunday, November 23, 2014

True Story

This is a true story that happened in our neighborhood years ago.

Gwendolyn Grant was the kind of person you want on your side. You did not want her against you on any matter. Gwen was a sixty-plus year old, chain smoking, alcohol appreciator who took guff off no one.

Clover Neighborhood had only one way in and that entrance was also the only way out. Gwen's driveway was the second one right there at the entrance on Crimson Drive. Remember that. That is important.

One day, while the owners were away on vacation, two men drove a pickup truck up their driveway around to the back of their house and proceeded to help themselves to select articles of belongings of their choice. Now, that house was well back in the neighborhood where there were no houses behind it. However, the next door neighbor saw them loading household goods out of the house into their truck, and he spoke to them about it. Upon which, the two men jumped in the truck and took off.

Not to be outdone, the quick thinking neighbor called Gwen, told her what had happened and what they were driving. He then followed them in his own vehicle.

Gwen used to drive an old van. Picture this: large, tall, long, gray van with no windows on the sides, just solid tall gray walls left and right - which at that time was parked in her driveway. When she heard the burglars' truck was on the way, she simply backed the van down her driveway placing it dead across the street where there was no way around it (without going into the deep ditch that parallels her driveway), and it was too large to ram broadside - at least not on purpose.

Not only that, when the pickup truck driver and friend saw their escape route was blocked, the next thing they saw was Gwen with her big 45 pistol aimed at the driver's head. There she held them until the police arrived. The burglars never had a chance, and never argued about it. When the neighbor arrived they were shouting profanities. Gwen, who could out cuss a sailor any day, coolly enjoyed the situation. They knew they were caught like the proverbial cat with a canary in its mouth.

This is a true story, only the names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.


Mo said...

Lovely story! Thank you for sharing.

Marla said...

Great story! I want Gwen to live in my neighborhood.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Hi Barbee,

What an amazing story! Kudos to Gwen for her bravery...wouldn't I love to have someone like that in my neighbourhood?! Thanks for sharing.

Here's to a wonderful 2010...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Barbee' girl .. I truly wish I was like that "character" as in full of spit and vinegar .. now wouldn't that be well worth seeing on a video ? a teaching video for the slightly old but full of life codgers teaching their own generation how to take care of business !! LOL
I loved reading this : )
I will try to aspire to her standards one day ? ;-)

Melodie said...

Love,love,love it!!!You should never underestimate older people,you don't know their past,and some of them are tougher than nails!

donna said...

You tell a good story. Granted you had some pretty material to work with. Go Gwen!

Barbee' said...

Mo, glad you enjoyed it.

Marla, there should be one in every neighborhood. Ha!

Kanak, Yep, she was a hoot! And, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, too!! We had a light snow. I heard only 6 firecrackers go off when the clock and calendar turned to 2010. Usually hear more, even though they are against the law.

Joy, "Character" is correct. There are other stories, such as: Being a bitter divorcee, she held her husband's large boat hostage behind the house, and he wasn't allowed to set foot on the property. It was visible from the street and the neighbors grumbled and complained about having to look at the eyesore.

Melodie, Thank you! That is so true.

Donna, That one was just too good to not share.

Roberto said...

Hi Barbee !

That's my kind of old gal! More power to her.

I love your new header photo - the snow makes everything look so pristine, pure and placid. Pity it thaws.

Balisha said...

Pistol packin' Gwen. I could just picture the story...the way you told it. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Jean said...

Wow, I would definitely want her on my side! Great story and I love your snowy header photo. Happy new year!

Zach said...

that is one of the best stories, I have ever heard in my entire life... I need a gwen.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Great story. Wish we all had some neighbors like her

Titania said...

This is an amazing story and well told too.
Barbee, I wish you from my heart a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year. T.

Lucy said...

Oh golly Barbee - I'm glad she's NOT my neighbour. If any of my neighbours started running out of their houses with guns I'd be terrified, burglars escaping with belongings or not!

It's a good story though!

I find your header very tempting. I want to run into the screen and be the first to charge around in the snow. We don't get proper snow where I live so I'd like to lie on my back and make 'angels' and propress to a row of snowmen. I'm trying to think of something Blotanical to build with snow too. Maybe prehistoric tree-ferns with thick trunks would work?


Anonymous said...

She's a hero.

Pamela K H said...

Hi Barbee,
What a story! We should all look out for each other like your neighbors did.
Glad you enjoyed my blackeyed peas breakfast post. Hope you come back soon. I'll check in on you from time to time also. Thanks for sharing.

Gunilla said...

Hi Barbee.
What a great story.I could see it in my head like a movie.:o)
Thanks for sharing.I loved reading this.:o)

Thank you for your visits during the last year I really appreciate it.

I wish you a wounderful New Year from a cold Sweden.

Barbee' said...

Hi Roberto, glad you like the snow scene; I do, too. We had a little more this morning, but not enough that it is a problem, just pretty to look at. Say Gwen is your kind of old gal?! I think her X-husband would have been glad to give her to you. Not only did she hold his boat hostage, but there was an old Cadillac that was parked back there too. Don't know if she had a restraining order against him, or if he knew she would shoot him if he set foot on the property. That really big, very tall, old, ugly boat and that old car were there when we moved here and remained there at least 15 more years. I have no idea how long they had been there before we moved in.

Balisha, thank you. Here's to an interesting, but not exciting, new year. Can't take much excitement any more. You know what that says about me.

Hello Jean, you bet! And, when she took a side, she never let go. Glad you like the snowy scene, thank you.

Oh, Zach, I don't think you needed that one for sure, but maybe someone similar. The thing of it is, the shape of her house and the way it sits related to the street, we can see all the way into the back yard, as well as, a clear view of her "back" porch which is actually on the side of the house next to the driveway. I've driven in and out there many a time when it was easy to see her and the painters sitting there having a beer. I thought those guys never would get through with that job. I bet they loved her. Got the impression she just needed some drinking buddies.

Deb, there were many days the Neighborhood Assoc. would have loved to transplant her into yours!

Titania, I appreciate your good wishes more than you know. Thank you, and may I wish the same for you. I think you are in summertime at your house. Here, we have snow and I have a bad cold. What a way to start a new year!!

Lucy, your comment caused other memories to surface, but too much for here. I was once startled and amused to see a Saguaro cactus made of snow in front of someone's house in this town which is thousands of miles away from the American western deserts. Here is a link to a photo that shows the style of the snow cactus.CLICK HERE

mothernature, I think they don't make 'em like her any more.

Hello Pam, I think this is your first visit here - Welcome! I don't post regularly, but hope you do check back occasionally. I have yours in my "Follow" list. Makes it easier for me to check in on others.

Gunilla, thank you so much for the positive feed-back. It might be cold in Sweden, but that is a warm hug! Appreciate it, it makes me smile.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

What a great story! I wanna be like Gwen when I'm her age (which is any day now). But living in
Canada, I'd be minus the 45!! I'd have to threaten them with my chain saw!!

Barbee' said...

Doris, Oh, my! I think a chainsaw would work (quick thinking)! I know I'm scared of them.

Dog Trot Farm said...

All neighborhoods need a "Gwen", you go girl!

Balisha said...

Are you keeping warm, Barbie? Have a good weekend.

Barbee' said...

Dog Trot Farm, she was quite an interesting character. Wouldn't want two of her in the same neighborhood.

Hi Balisha, Oh, yes, we are fine. This old house isn't as warm as some we have lived in, but we have learned how to find the warm spots. I hear Max up in the kitchen right now asking our visiting son if he would like a cup of tea. Our family room is the only room in the basement, and we do enjoy being down here near the furnace where it's warm (and cool in hot weather). I love being down here when the weather is windy. It seems so snug. I hope this very wintry winter isn't a foreboding as to what summer will be like. I can take cold better than heat.

Maria Berg said...

I hope you have had time for lunch now, i promise to give you some ham the day you come and visit me in Sweden.

That is good tha we have some brave people.


AJ-OAKS said...

This is the first time I have visited your blog. You have visited mine several times now and after reading about Gwen, you can bet I will be checking back a lot to see what else is new. If I didn't know better I would swear you were talking about an older, tough as nails, get in your face, out cuss anyone, gal here locally. She was a livestock inspector and you always wanted to be on her good side. NEVER her bad side. I'm not afraid of many people, but you can bet she scared me! Anyway, I wonder if Gwen and her are related!!! Yup, neighborhoods needs more Gwens! Love it!! Looking forward to the next post. Cindy & The Herd

Kerri said...

Love the story! What a tough old girl. She certainly saved the day :)
Wishing you a wonderful, healthy and happy New Year dear Barbee!
I hope you're staying warm and getting lots of reading done.

Fennie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Great tale. Would she have fired if they had moved, I wonder? We shall never know.

Barbee' said...

Ha, ha, ha, Maria, I did have a nice lunch, but not as good as the ham you pictured on your blog. Absolutely a promise: the very next time I am in Sweden I will hold you to it.

Cindy AJ-Oaks, interesting to read about the character you knew. We will never know, but sounds as if they were both cast from the same mold. Bet they would have hated each other.

Hello Kerri, Thank you. Yes, she did, and I bet it made her day. Lately most of my reading has been many blogs.

Fennie, True we will never know. Surely not. She was such a formidable person, I guess she didn't have to fire.

lisa said...

Great story! Much as I enjoy having very few neighbors, Gwen is the one I'd want! Hope you're enjoying your snow and the new year! :)

Steve said...

LOL, my brother had a neighbor in Portland who was a Union carpenter for years, finally retiring and living next door. I pity the poor fool - and it did happen - who tried breaking into his neighbor's home. Like your story, I won't belabor the point. But that Japanese dude was the ultimate watchdog for everyone in the 'hood. He never missed a thing, somehow.

Anonymous said...

I know a few Gwens around these parts too! Aren't they great??

Wonderful story.
Have a good weekend.

Vetsy said...

Barbee I love this true story and would love to have Gwen as my neighbor!

We don't often hear enough about stories like this one.. The media likes to seek out stories about the victims and their loses.. Not the victim becoming the victor!..

Love it!!!

billie said...

Great story, great neighbor to have!

Barbee' said...

lisa: Thank you! It fell together quickly. Lovely new year so far.

Steve: Thanks Steve, that's a good story, too.

Pam: Thank you, Pam. Some people just have a lot of grit, but I'm not one of them.

Vetsy: Ah, Vetsy, some people just need more chocolate in their lives! Glad you enjoyed the story.

Billie: thanks Billie, and also for popping over to check out my story.

Jim Fisher said...

Now that neighborhood watch. What a great image of Gwen and her 45, I have.

Feeding Baby Calves .com

Barbee' said...

Hello Jim. At that time our neighborhood was made up of almost all senior citizens and we looked out for each other. Now days, we are happy that several young families with children have moved in when older ones died off or moved to assisted living establishments. Now we have school buses and trick-or-treaters as the neighborhood undergoes progression cycles. Interesting and more fun!

Titania said...

Hi Barbee, thank you for your visit.
I hope you have recovered from your cold and are feeling better again. If I could I would bring over some fruit from the garden for a good Vitamin C shot.

Barbee' said...

Titania, ha, ha, ha, how nice of you. I lovvvvve fruit, thank you. The good news is the bad cold is all gone. Your message reminds me: we have a bag of oranges in the garage (where it's cool) and I will probably peel some for dessert tonight.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

what a terrific story!

Callie said...

Wow! That lady is so cool. What good neighbors!
Thanks for the story.

Skeeter said...

What a funny story! If only all neighbors would get involved such as Gwen, then we may have a better place to live...

Barbee' said...

Jan, thank you!

Skeeter, and, a thank you to you, too!

Barbee' said...

Callie, oops, I'm glad I checked my spam folder. Your comment was there, sorry. Yes, she was a real character. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Dirty Girl Gardening said...

great story!

our friend Ben said...

Ha!!! Fantastic, Barbee'! Too bad we're not all brave enough to do likewise.

our friend Ben said...

Just classic, Barbee'! Wish we had good neighbors like Gwen. (Actually, our neighbors are great. But none of them have vans or guns...)

Sammy Thorley said...

Hay I loved your story it was nice of you to share it

Isabelle said...

Wow! Just as well the men didn't have guns too, though.

Barbee' said...

Yes, I agree. She was a gutsy woman and probably didn't even consider the risk.