2 million and counting

Jun 4, 2002

We visited DeKalb on Sunday to have lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Sisco. Grandpa drove us over to Rochelle to their regular Sunday lunch spot, a diner called the Butterfly. On the way, my 89-year-old grandfather proudly told us that, in the course of his 30-year career as a travelling pharmaceutical salesman and his retirement as a call-at-any-hour family taxi, he’d driven 2 million miles. All without receiving a ticket of any kind, ‘though I deserved one once in a while.’ He’s owned 28 cars—26 black Pontiacs, 2 Fords and a Chevy—and used to buy a new, black, car each year so the neighbors didn’t know he was driving the newest model.

Grandpa Sisco admitted to a youthful prank: In Berwyn, Illinois, he and his buddies would put a dummy on the tracks of the streetcar and then hide. When the streetcar stopped before the dummy and the conductor got out to inspect what he thought was a prone human being, the youths would pull the trolley’s antenna off the overhead wires. The conductor, back up in his seat, wouldn’t be too happy to suddenly have a non-electric, still streetcar, but Grandpa and his buddies had a good laugh. Grandma, hearing this story, scolded Grandpa. Perhaps I should have helped her pull out the sparkplugs of his car …

Anton Zuiker

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