Casefile Clues

14 April 2012

I'm the Reason the Butter Paddle Got Burned

[This is a slight diversion from our usual topics on Rootdig, but there is a genealogy slant.]

My paternal grandmother babysat me from the time I was a few months old and my mother returned to teaching school the fall after I was born. Until first grade, a regular ritual was my Dad and my uncle coming into the house for dinner. When I was about five or so years of age, my uncle teased me and told me that if I misbehaved Grandma would use that old butter paddle of Grandma Trautvetter's and spank me with it. He also told me that if I didn't want to get spanked that I should put the butter paddle in the kitchen waste can and then I'd never get spanking.

And so while Grandma was outside doing something, I did. I put great-grandma's butter paddle in the kitchen waste can, sliding it under other garbage so Grandma wouldn't see it.

And she didn't.

A day or so later, she said that she couldn't find the butter paddle anywhere. Of course she couldn't find it. She had burned it in the burn barrel.

I forget how Grandma came to find out about the butter paddle. I guess I eventually told my Dad or Grandma. That part I don't remember.

I don't think I got punished for it. But my uncle never suggested anything of the sort again.

And so at the age of five, I destroyed my first family history artifact.



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