Grandpa always wore a three piece suit with a white Oxford shirt. In the heat of summer, he removed the vest. In the winter, when he went on his daily walks, he added a topcoat and a fedora to his outfit.
Two blocks from his house was a small grocery store where my brother Mike worked as a manager.
Every day, grandpa, in his late eighties, walked to the store to visit Mike and to pick up an item or two.
One afternoon, I was going to visit grandpa, when I heard him yelling and swearing in Italian from way outside the door. I heard my aunt was trying to calm him down, to no avail. Thinking something was wrong, I rushed inside.
There was grandpa, all red in the face, walking around the kitchen with a can of peas in his hand, dripping liquid from the can all over the kitchen floor.
Grandpa couldn’t wait to show me that he just opened the can of peas he purchased from Mike’s store, and it was all liquid, without a single pea inside.
This little event had sent grandpa’s temper off, but I thought it was so funny. When I started to laugh, grandpa realized it was silly and he started to laugh, too.
I volunteered to go back to the store, but grandpa was over it, so the three of us had cake and coffee instead.
When I got home, I told Mike the story.
The next day, Mike told every worker in the little store. When grandpa arrived at the market, over the loud speaker came, “Grandpa is here.”
Every available worker had bought grandpa a complimentary can of peas.
He laughed and laughed, and loved it.