Gigi gives a life lesson

Sandy Turner
Down home

It’s been ages since I thought about my first car, even longer since anyone cared to listen about it.

Two of the grandsons, just 3 months apart, are 9 going on 19. They love to talk the talk, but can’t quite walk the walk. As much as I love playing babies with the granddaughters, the boys bring out the part of me I sometimes forget ever existed.

Sandy Turner

I didn’t expect their reaction when I told them my first car was a ’65 Fastback Mustang. They didn’t expect their grandma had ever driven anything other than a mini van. I had their complete attention as I described the “hippie-fied” Mustang with carpet remnants glued to the headliner, Pioneer floor speakers in the trunk with a power booster at my fingertips. When I pulled into the school parking lot, the music would rattle the windows.

“Wasn’t that bad for your hearing,” one of them asked, while the other grandson answered for me and said, “that’s probably why she can’t hear very good.” I continued with my story of working at a restaurant when I was 14, washing dishes so I could buy the car. They gave me a puzzled look as if I had told them I had been a prisoner of war or something. “You worked when you were only 14,” they asked. “Why didn’t your parents just buy it for you?”

I continued with the story as my parents not only wouldn’t front me the money to buy the car, I had to pay for my own gasoline and insurance. “Your parents sounded mean,” they said as I explained how they kept a running total on the refrigerator of what I owed and how much I had paid each week.

This concept of working for something that’s wanted seemed like an opportune time for a life lesson from Gigi. They love to play Fortnite, so I gave them the option of cleaning out my van in exchange for some V-Bucks (pretend money, purchased with real money, to buy pretend things in the video game).

“What if we buy the V-Bucks first and then clean the van,” was the first curveball thrown by the youngsters who thought they were going to outsmart this ol’ grandma. I agreed and we made the trip to the store to buy the plastic pretend V-Bucks, although the cards were not distributed until the van cleaning was complete. They got it cleaned and even did some sweating, and were rewarded with V-Bucks, which were spent within minutes in the virtual reality world, on skins, which I didn’t even have the courage to ask what that meant.

Later that night I made the mistake of choosing to watch "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves" with Kevin Costner. I had forgotten how one of the first scenes is a man getting his hand cut off because he had stolen a piece of bread.

“Is this for real?” they asked.

I explained it was just a movie but they decided it was too violent and their moms’ probably wouldn’t want them watching it.

We turned the movie off so they could go back to playing Fornite, where the theme of the game is to kill as many people as possible.

Guess it’s OK as long as no one is stealing bread.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence. Email her at