Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Grandpa, RIP

Thank you all for your prayers -- Grandpa passed away peacefully this afternoon, and I'm sure that he in the company of the angels and the saints.

In honor of a wise and gentle soul, here are two stories of his college days at MIT in the 50s (courtesy of my dad):
Two stories I recall about Grandpa's college days. I heard these from his
own mouth, but all the juicy details escape me. One has to remember that MIT is an engineering school of the most brilliant caliber. Bright and inquisitive minds. Only the elite get into MIT.

1) The bug. One of the guys on the hall of Dad's dorm went home for the weekend, but not by car (maybe by train?). Dad's hallmates were looking for some practical joke to play on him. They decided to disassemble the guy's VW bug and carry it piece by piece from the street into his dorm room. When the guy returned, he opened his dorm door only to find his car sitting in the middle of his floor! The rest of the story I can't recall. (I imagine the jokesters helped him get his car back outside in the same manner.

2) The sink. Dad and some buddies were experimenting with a certain chemical reaction which produced a mild explosion. I think they learned about the reaction in chemistry class and wanted to experiment on a stronger scale then they were allowed to in chemistry lab. So they mixed their chemicals in a lavatory sink. Unfortunately, they mixed their chemicals too potently. The explosion was powerful enough to shatter the sink. They turned off the valves to the sink and started sweeping up the mess. However, the building superintendent heard the explosion, ran to the lavatory, opened the door and caught them red-handed. He was furious and told them he was going to get a high ranking university official, bring him back to the lavatory, and try to get the boys kicked out of school. The superintendent left to get the big boss. Dad and his buddies then went to the supply room, got another sink, installed it, cleaned up the mess, and left. Thereupon the building superintendent returned in a huff with the big boss, opened the lavatory door with a flourish, and showed his boss....a
perfectly clean and functional lavatory!!! When Dad told this, he had us in hysterics. I don't remember the remaining details, except that Dad said he never mixed chemicals in a sink again. I seem to recall that he was careful to stay out of the superintendent's way after this incident.

10 comments:

CMinor said...

Just getting back online after being away a while--my prayers for your Grandpa and family.

I think I've heard variations on that VW story. It must have been a popular dorm prank back when. I suspect the current crop of beetles doesn't reassemble quite so easily in inexpert hands.

Rick Lugari said...

I'm sorry for your loss, MrsD. Thanks for sharing the delightful stories of your grandpa. I'll be praying...

barbfromcincy said...

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
My deepest sympathy to your family...

David L Alexander said...

Back in those days, VW Beetles were relatively easy to take apart and put together. It was part of their appeal. I love Grandpa stories, because I loved both of mine, God rest them. Please accept my condolences.

MrsDarwin said...

Thank you all for your prayers and kindness.

I remember hearing Grandpa tell the story of the bug when I was young -- it was a definite grandchild pleaser. He had a great technical know-how, so I'm sure that if anyone could disassemble and reassemble a car, he could. The bug also had the benefit of being compact enough to fit in a dorm room. MIT must have had larger dorms than Steubenville -- I can't imagine anyone fitting a bug into one of the dorms there unless they removed all the other furniture.

PB said...

no, even the Kolbe-Clair dorm rooms wouldn't have fit a WV Bug.

Although the ping pong table in my austria dorm room was very nice.

Anonymous said...

Did you have "Minis" over there, or are they more an "English" car? I remember someone's mini being taken from the carpark as a prank and being found inside the hostel. Though not taken apart and reassembled to be moved!

Darwin said...

The history of the Mini in the US is something I actually read up a bit on at one point, as I nearly bought one a few years back (when my daily commute was 60 miles each way). Minis were sold in the US for a few years in the late sixties through early seventies, but then they fell afoul of tighter safety and environmental regulations and were no longer sent to the US. However, when BMW bought the Mini brand from Rover Corp (4-5 years ago) one of their strategic plans was to move the Mini (now the MINI) into the US market. They're now fairly plentiful here.

CMinor said...

It's too bad Citroen Ducks never caught on here--they'd probably be really easy to take apart and reassemble in somebody's dorm room.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

And may His perpetual light shine upon him.

I'll remember your grandpa in my Rosary tomorrow.