After watching the Who needs a hatch? video, Bruce emailed me the following humorous story:
This reminds me of a story. We are going to a memorial service this week for Nancy's Uncle Larry (you prayed for him, I'm sure). He was a genuinely nice fellow who enjoyed the persona of a cranky curmudgeon. He liked to say that his favorite literary character was Ebenezer Scrooge. They came to visit us back when we lived on Lusard St., and the first time Laurel ever saw him (she was just an infant), she just bawled inconsolably! We wonder if his beard scared her. Whatever the cause, he always remembered that and took it as a badge of honor that he could scare babies (though at the time he was sort of mortified by her reaction). As Laurel grew older, he would refer to her as that "screaming brat," and Laurel learned to play the part. When we visited them, she would act as though she were afraid to see him.
On one visit, we responded to his note to leave "the screaming brat home, or if she insisted on coming that she should stay in the trunk." Laurel was a sixth grader, and when we were about half a block from their home, we put her in the trunk. (I was hoping no neighbors were looking out their windows!!!) We arrived at their home after dark, and as Stephen, Nancy and I exchanged pleasantries with them in their driveway, Uncle Larry asked, "Where's Laurel?" I responded, "Oh. I almost forgot!" When we let her out, she asked, "Do I have to sleep in there tonight?" Uncle Larry loved it! He laughed and laughed and told everyone about it. I think it might have even gotten him to remove the "Relatives, GO HOME!" sign from the front porch before our next visit.