The Garage Apartment

Updated: Dec 24, 2018

A garage with an upstairs apartment used to stand here. I almost burned it down when a large macrame curtain I knotted together myself and hung too near a bare light fixture ignited and set the apartment on fire. Fortunately, the local fire department quickly raced up Route 66 from the station downtown and arrived in time to save the building, but the apartment was gutted. So stupid of me. But it was rebuilt and they forgave me for setting it on fire, even letting me live in it for a while after it was rebuilt.

When I was twelve or thirteen (about six or seven years before the fire), I helped pour the concrete slab for the front part of it so my grandparents could park their cars inside without having to traipse through powdery dust. Not long after that, my grandfather played a prank on my grandmother, waiting until she was in the car and had started it before sneaking up to the right, rear corner and vigorously banging on its rear quarter panel before she could put it into gear and back out. It was a high-powered Plymouth sedan, formerly a state police detective vehicle with a wicked Mopar engine that she was not totally comfortable driving in.


Thinking she had just broken the car's engine as it roared to life with the background banging noise going on, she immediately shut it off and got out, expecting to see smoke rising from seams of the hood or engine oil leaking out from beneath it across the new concrete floor. Then she spotted her prankster husband crouched at the rear corner, grinning impishly at her. She chased him out of the garage, around the houst into the front yard flinging a fan belt at him while neighbors and Route 66 travelers rolled by, watching them running around their house for some strange reason.