By Moose Tyler
My grandfather was a salesman, and like all natural-born salesmen, he was always on the lookout for a deal. Swapping, selling, bargaining, and hustling were as natural for Pa-Pa as breathing, and if you weren’t careful, he’d sell your shoes before you had time to put them back on your feet.
Pa-Pa lived with Mo-Mo in Paragould, Arkansas, but the house where they lived always changed. My favorite was the red brick one with the gravel in the front and the corn stalks in back, though the trailer he bought next door with the add-on room for a pool table and Mo-Mo’s bowling trophies was fun, too.
Pa-Pa always drove a different truck whenever we’d visit, and he had a steady stream of boats, mopeds and motorcycles flowing in and out of his shop, but he never had many four-wheelers. Those were hot ticket items in the sticks of Northeast Arkansas.
Guns, knives, and arrowheads were plentiful, as were tools in his shed. He sold it all - furniture, dogs, cats, coats and even old baseball hats. You didn’t play electronics around Pa-Pa, and you kept your eyes on your jewelry. Everyone in the family knew that.
The first time I remember Pa-Pa coming to my house for a visit he towed a deep trailer behind his pick-up and had come to help my mother clean out the garage. Four days later with a bulging load bungeed and fastened down, he and Mo-Mo pulled out of the driveway and headed back home. A few days later I realized I was missing a set of golf clubs, a small trunk of comic books, a remote control airplane, and my toolbox.
When I asked my mother if she knew the whereabouts of my misplaced treasures, she laughed and said. “Now you know you got to lock up your shit when Pa-Pa comes to town."
“Yeah,” I said, and then I sulked back to my room to take inventory of the rest of my belongings.