Ho hum from the man with the shoulder towel

As my Newton great-grandfather got older, he liked to have a towel draped over his shoulder. I don’t know whether it was always this pinkish-burgundy one.

Apparently Grandaddy also enjoyed sitting on the couch in the semi-darkness, and saying “Ho ho ho, hum” at the top of his voice, over and over again.

Once he and his wife, Mamma, stayed overnight in a hotel down on Long Beach. When they started to carry their luggage out the next morning, the woman in the next room bolted out onto the landing and glared at Granddaddy. “Ho — ho — ho — hum!” she said.

A friend thinks the towel and the nonverbal repetition sound like symptoms of Alzheimer’s (which the men in the Newton line do seem to suffer from).

I hope not, because my father sort of says the ho-ho-ho thing when he yawns. And increasingly — unconsciously — so do I.


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