Stories by Karen Urbanski

Karen Urbanski, owner of Aardvark Kafe on West College Avenue, is writing a book of stories. She has been collecting stories about people’s family members and assigning them to different antique photos she has acquired. Click here to read more about Urbanski’s project.

Here are two stories about grandfathers.

Grandpa1With tears welling in her eyes, she smiled, thinking of her grandfather. He used to say to her, “It doesn’t matter how you’re dressed, or even if you’re clean. Always know, you are loved no matter what!”
Then she looked at the ceiling of large warehouse we were standing in and began to reminisce about her grandparents dairy barn. She went on to tell me that she and her Nana would climb up into the loft and look down while they were milking the cows.
She giggled, as she told me about the day they were distracted by movement in the barn rafters, here was grandfather swinging like a monkey from rafter to rafter! Terrified, Nana demanded, “What in the world are you doing?” He replied, “Gee, Honey, I just wanted to see you smile!”
The smile was wider as brushed a tear from the corner of her eye, “He really was a special man!”


Grandpa2.jpegGramps was what you would call an expert identifying pigs at the auction. One day, he bid on the perfect pig for lard. Grandma needed lard for baking. Back then, the bridges hadn’t been built yet across the Juniata River, so Pop took along a raft to get across the river. About half way across the river, that pig got loose and went floating down the river! Gramps jumped off his raft and swooped up that 200lb pig and put ‘em back on that raft. Gramps was an incredibly strong man!