My first grape story started one early morning in a little Michigan town on the shore of Lake Michigan. It were Spring about this time of year it was in perhaps in the year 1959, maybe 1960 even. Seeking some subsistence in the way of some belly fillen, I found in my Mom’s kitchen a loaf of bread. This was okay for a start, but what to go with it? Ah yes, perhaps there’ll be something in the cellar. So I descended the steps down around the winding steps lowering me into the cooler reaches of the area Mom had reserved for her many varieties of home canned good beautifully done up in mason jars. Towards the end of the masonry shelf on the left I found what I’d thought would make taste addition to some toasted breads, my Mom’s homemade Jelly. Oh it was a glorious repast. Two slices toasted bread slathered with honest to goodness real butter and topped with Mom’s grape jelly what a morning feast. I didn’t then know what had caused me to want more for two slices toast had me wanting two more, so on and so forth. I couldn’t lay my happy fingers on just what it was so good about that particularly simplest of breakfasts’ for I ate that toast and jelly until what was left of Mom’s bred was gone. Only a couple cups of coffee suggestively drinkened to wash the toast down I do believe had no effect upon me. However, getting up from the table to leave the house for the backyard shop to work upon a customers order I found my walking from hither to yond a bit more than wobbly. On reaching the shop, looking about me over the scene, I felt it less important than I had imagined, for the need be my doing it right then and there. Besides something was telling me I had better return to the house. Inside I laid down but for a few moments upon my Mom’s sofa. Only for a few moments until my head and body’s alienating behavior had cleared the funny cobwebs clear of my conscious mind and body. I slept for several hours. Sometime later I awoke wondering what had happened to me? What manner or illness had befallen me those hours when I had so much else to do. I had lost a questionable day to Lawd only knew what?
When I had related my story to my family including taking full responsibility for the missing bread, I do believe they all thought I were bonkers. This weird behavior was going to take some rather deep sleuthing upon my part to figure out what had happened to me for whatever it was my behavior’s it had gone unwitnessed.
After a great deal of thought I started with examining the jelly jar and its remaining jelly. Thankfully I had run out of bread. It smelled okay. With a teaspoon I sampled the goods. It was tasty, very tasty, with an unmistaken-able extra tang to it, in it, with it? A day or two had gone by and I knew I had to do something in the interest of my family’s safety. So unselfishly I moseyed back down into the dark confines that cellar and intentionally moved all those very samely labeled jars to the further distanced far reaches way to the back of another masonry shelf and there do to the fact there weren’t that many of them to keep them from falling into the wrong hands I turned the open panels of a cardboard box inside and placed thus upside down of the questionable jarrings. Thankful I had taken the steps I had taken to save the evidence I didn’t speak of it for years. For I had discovered Mom’s unintentionally made homemade “Happy Jelly.” Least wise that’s what I called it. Happy Jelly, yum.
Near as I figured, Mom had failed to cook her jelly long or hard enough to have pasteurized it before she’s canned the goods, waxed and lidded her grape juiced brew to set and jell. It was terrible, simply terrible the responsibilities’ laid upon me to save and protect my family from such stuff I had safely hid away for all the ensuing months it personally took me to do away with the inebriating evidences. Hic!
Part two tomorrow night