The Cigarette Case Full of Irony

First some back story. My maternal grandfather died in 1982, when I was 16. He hadn’t made any attempt to contact my mother or myself since roughly 1970. Anyway, after he died, the son (TS from here on, for the sake of brevity, clarity, and anonymity) of the woman (TW) he’d been living with (but never married) contacted my mother, seeking permission for TW to stay in the house they’d shared. My mother said yes and basically didn’t think of it again. That is, until recently.

Come to find out, TW died a few years ago, but no one bothered to tell my mother. Since then the house has been sitting vacant and now the state is looking for someone to pay the back taxes. Here’s where this portion of the story gets weird.

My mother has an older half-brother, Hank (same father), who was raised by their fraternal grandparents. Mom was always told growing up that they had taken him in when my grandparents married rather than burden my grandmother. What she’s only now discovering is that they actually adopted him. So my mother’s brother is also her uncle, and his father is actually his brother (on paper)!

What all of this means is that the state of Texas is coming after my mother for the back taxes, since she is, as we all just learned, the only next of kin. As my mother was finding all of this out, and trying to decide upon a course of action, she talked to Hank for the first time in ~15 years and he tells her that he’s sending a box of their father’s things that he got from TS.

The box comes and it’s apparent that it’s basically just the things that no one else wanted, which is fine, she really didn’t want the stuff anyway. So, she brings the stuff to see if I want it. “Sure”, I say, “I’ll take it.”

Ok, so that’s the back story. Which leads us to the real story.

The Cigarette Case.

One of the items is a silver (in color) “ejector cigarette case” which I discovered didn’t really work.

The foot that does the cigarette ejecting was only moving about 1/8″ when the button was pressed but the slot that it travels in is nearly 1 inch long.

Closer inspection revealed that it appeared as though the whole thing was held together without any fasteners and could be opened up and disassembled.

I got it apart and found that a piece that’s supposed to serve as a pivot point for the mechanism had slipped out of place.

I won’t bore you with the fiddly details of reassembly, but I was thrilled to get it back together and working as it was intended.

The funny thing is this: At the instant I realized I had fixed it, my memory flashed to the person who taught me, when I was about 9 years old, that sometimes you can fix things just by taking them apart and putting them back together. Admittedly there was more to this than just that, but anyway…

That person? my uncle Hank, as I was “helping” him fix my grandmother’s Mr. Coffee coffee maker.

2 thoughts on “The Cigarette Case Full of Irony

  1. That is quite an interesting story. It’s funny that you said you remembered Hank was fixing your Grandmother’s coffee maker. I know you will work on a coffee maker and get it going again long after many of us would have sent it to the coffee maker grave yard. I feel bad that your mother has to worry about the back taxes on something she has nothing to do with. She really doesn’t deserve that but I guess the great state of Texas doesn’t care much about her, they just want their money.

  2. The good news is that they’ll sell the house at auction and any money above and beyond the tax debt, she gets to keep. So hopefully it will all turn out fine.

    I got more than 10 years of service from my old Bunn coffee maker, and it would still be working today if Bunn sold repair parts!

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