Kathy Gilleen

The other day I thought about my Grandpa, Wollum (Art Wollum). He was the kind of person who always had something good to say about everybody. He made humorous remarks, but they were never malicious. He was a good husband, parent, grandparent, and friend. The same thought bubble that brought forth memories of Grandpa also brought memories of trapping. Come winter and after snow blanketed the ground and marshy/swampy areas froze over, he began setting out traps. He was very organized and thorough, making sure they were in good working order. Before long, he was ready to begin his winter ‘trap trek.’

I’m reminded of his trapping and the money he put away for Christmas gifts as well as saving for a small garage. I always thought of this as ‘mink money.’ That prompted more movement in the thought bubble (cloud?), and I remembered a plumber we knew. After every job he worked, he collected odds and ends of copper pipe and anything else that looked like it could be recycled. Of course that also meant a few extra dollars in his pocket. He was quite secret about his mounting monetary funds. His wife, Rita, found a wad of money in his pocket one day. Poor Bill didn’t have a ready excuse for her so was forced to tell the truth. They had a good laugh, and then put those funds to good use.

My thought bubble kept expanding until I thought about our national debt, programs needing additional funding, famine, homelessness, education, and the list goes on and on. Good grief. It was a small mental leap from national debt to rabbit money. What if our treasury was administered by rabbits? Yes, that’s the answer. Rabbits multiply and continue to multiply ad infinitum. Could they somehow use their math skills to increase funds? Of course paper bills would no longer feature Abe Lincoln and George Washington. They would be replaced by the Energizer Bunny and Bugs Bunny. Would we still have coins? Hmmm. There are rabbits in Africa, Antarctica, and Hawaii, to name a few locations. With that in mind, we could have rabbit representatives to oversee the treasury located in each part of the world.

Of course this is all silliness, and I don’t know how my mind strayed and became so harebrained. It was an enormous leap from Grandpa trapping mink to rabbits. Undoubtedly that extra money also came in handy for groceries, clothes, keeping the house warm, and he was always generous if anyone he knew was in need.

Kathy Gilleen is a Messenger guest columnist with family ties to the Red Top area.

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