From the Mental Album: My Grandmother, the Traffic Cop

My paternal grandmother, Betty, passed away in February.  During her memorial service, the family recounted several amusing tales that involved her.  Mine was the following.


The year was 1992, and I had just walked for my high school graduation.  My 220 fellow classmates and I were exuberant as we and our respective families walked out to the parking structure where we had all parked.  As you might expect with a multi-story parking garage, having over 220 cars try to exit at the same time leads to a few delays.  As a result, we ended up sitting in our car for a while waiting for the long line of cars slowly passing behind us clear so we could back out of our parking spot.

After about 20 minutes, though, Betty decided she had had enough.

Much to the surprise of my brother and I, she stepped out of the car and walked between the cars in the procession.  She calmly approached up to one of the vehicles that was about to pass, spoke to the driver briefly, and then started back to our car.  She stopped before she got there, and signaled to my Dad (who was driving) that he could back out now.

Most of our car broke into laughter.  Our grandmother had just stopped a line of dozens of cars to make room for ours.  My brother, horrified, sank into the seat cushion as far as he could go.  I seem to recall later him saying that if she was going to do that at HIS graduation two years down the line, he just wasn’t going to invite her.

Betty climbed back in, and I’m sure she was at least a little smug at solving the problem in the most direct manner possible.

I love you Grandma.