The Hole in the Ground
Written by
Laura Eitniear
July 2014
Written by
Laura Eitniear
July 2014

Grandmom could hear the thumping on the roof. Exiting the house she was curious to see what all the ruckus was. There she saw my father at the peak of the roof. "Raymond," she hollered up, "you get down from there right now."


"Yes, Mother," Dad responded as he laid down and rolled to the bottom of the roof.


Grandmom watched in horror as he reached the end of the line and dropped to the ground, he was laughing, and she was furious. "What in the world are you doing?"


"Having fun, it's only a two foot drop, I won't get hurt," Dad said as he tugged at the short length of rope holding his knickers up.


"The hell you won't," she blurted as she turned to go back into the house.


"Those were good times," Dad relates to me. "I could never figure out why no one joined in the fun with me."


As he talks I am reminded of being little and rolling down the hill in the front yard, but not a roof, my Mom would have given us what-for if we had done that!


Dad's story is priceless though, and the memories of the "hole in the ground house" move on from there.


"Pop bought a house, there was nothing left of it, the house had burned down and it was nothing more than a basement full of debris." He says as he tells me how he and his brothers had to shovel the remains of the two-story house, before Pop could build a roof over it and they called it home.


Every day Dad would return home from school and he and his brothers would make cinder blocks with a block maker Pop had acquired. Carefully, the roof would be jacked up and the boys would line the last row of blocks with one more row, adding height to the house and raising the roof.


It was a laborious task for the boys, but it was their job to make a home for the family. Dad was quickly tired of the mundane tasks required, so he went to school and brought home every book he had. He informed Pop that he had too much homework to help his brothers.


Dad's plan worked, he worked well ahead of his classmates as his brothers built the house around him. Realizing this was working, Dad began to carry every book the school had given him to and from the one room school house daily.


Though the story could end here, where my father became the smartest person I know, it actually comes full circle. Many years later Dad took a blueprint class at Bensalem High School and went on to draw the blueprints to the house he wanted built for his growing family. His plans were realized in 1967 when builders worked with him to build the perfect home, and that is where he still lives.

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