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A Manner of Speaking Mar/Apr '01

by Bonnie Neugebauer
March/April 2001
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5013804/

One of the things I admire most about Clara, my mother-in-law, is her wonderful sense of humor. She has heard some of her husband's jokes at least 257 times. I know because I've heard some of them a time or two myself. But no matter the staleness of the joke, Clara's enjoyment of the humor is fresh for each telling.

At a recent family reunion, I focused my attention on Clara because I wanted to capture her laughter in a photograph. The photo is slightly out of focus, but the humor is enthusiastic and clear. Hal did his famous watch trick, in which he hammers the watch of an unsuspecting nephew to smithereens in an apparent failure of magic powers. He does this trick at every reunion, it always fails, and the unsuspecting relative is always the same one (some people learn more slowly than others?) - and Clara always dissolves into giggles.

When someone asked her the secret of their 59-year marriage, she responded that Hal has a great sense of humor, which has proven to be a mighty effective tool for getting over the rough spots.

Because Clara and Hal have passed this quality to their children and grandchildren, I ...

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