- He was a mechanic. He worked on cars wearing a crisp white uniform and a cool hat.
- My grandmother called him "Mutt." I have no idea why. (But there is a character in my forthcoming novel, On the Road to Mr. Mineo's, named Mutt in his honor.)
- He had a big, big, big garden (or at least it seemed big to a little girl).
- He grew peanuts in that garden. My grandmother kept a pot of them boiling on the back of the stove at all times.
- He always kept a pair of pliers in his pocket and threatened to pinch our noses with them.
- He filled a deserted chicken coop with sand for my sister and cousins and I to play in.
- Every day he took a nap in a mysterious room called a "sleeping porch." No one was allowed to enter that room but him. (So, of course, we all did.)
- He grew fig trees and had little concrete chicks that marched through the yard.
- He always wore a hat and his pants too high.