I love and miss my Grandpa T and I love peppermint patties.
When I was a wee lad I would volunteer to help Grandpa T. in the garden on Sunday.
That was my way to avoid the stress of wearing a tie and the tedium of going to mass.
We would dig and weed and plant and harvest, get sweaty and smelly and drink ginger ale,
a treat usually saved for special occasions.
When we were done working Grandpa would give me a quarter and send me to Vacarelli's bakery down at the corner across the railroad tracks. I would knock on the back door and wait for Mrs. V, a curvaceous woman, to answer. She would inevitably smile, tell me how cute i was pinch my cheeks and gather me in her arms for a big Italian hug, which resulted in being smothered by her motherly bosom scented with yeast and Estee Lauder. Thus my love of cleavage. But thatís another story.
I would run home with a steaming loaf of crusty bread. Grandpa would slice fresh green onions onto the bread and add a layer of yellow mustard. We would eat quietly together getting crumbs on the floor and mustard in the corners of our lips. Those are still the best sandwiches Iíve ever tasted.
Afterword, with a wink, I would suggest that our breath must smell like onions and wouldnít it be offensive to the churchgoers when they got home. Grandpa would smile, walk to the fridge and from his secret stash hidden beneath the ice cube tray extract a peppermint patty. He would carefully remove the blue and white foil wrapper and ceremoniously break it in half, always giving me the larger bit, fold his hands and say ďthank you lord for saving us from another sermonĒ. My favorite prayer.