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It was 1963—maybe ’62—and I was sitting in the second row of the First Baptist Church of Martins Ferry, Ohio, along with my cousin Dan, my second cousin Mark Wilson, and some other little guys (all of us five our younger). We were kicking the pew in front of us, playing with our Matchbox cars, dropping things, giggling, fidgeting…generally acting like five-year-olds in Church, when suddenly, Dan and I were levitated out of the pew from behind, by the left and right hands of our steel-worker, ordained-deacon grandfather.

Dan and I never touched the ground until we were on the sidewalk in front of the church. Now, I knew we were going to get spankings, and I was ready to accept it. But Dan, who has always been bolder than me, decided to argue his case. The argument was brief and ended in a summary judgment.

Dan said, “We weren’t doing anything worse than the other boys.”

Granpap responded, fast on the heels of Dan’s defense, “The other boys aren’t Gibbonses.”

And that was that.

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