Tag Archives: Blue Cross

My Grandfather’s Lunchbox

27 Jun

My grandfather’s appetite was the stuff of legends.

His dad worked on the railroad, and when he’d been away for a while, he’d often take both of his sons to a restaurant for a fancy meal. One particular time, Julius asked them if they were full. Floyd said yes, but LeRoy admitted he was still hungry. “Waiter, bring the boy another meal.” After the second meal, he took my grandfather to a second eatery because he was embarrassed to order a third time in the same place!

When he was in France during the Great War, my grandfather told me he had to run and be first in line at the mess tent, eat quickly, and then get in the back of the line, just so he could get enough to eat. After the war ended, the United States did not bring all of the soldiers home – many of them had to pay their own way. My grandfather was on one of the few troop ships to make the crossing. The family joke was that France couldn’t afford to rebuild the country and feed LeRoy Porstmann, too. When he did get back, my grandmother’s grocer thought she’d opened a boarding house.

A quarter peck of potatoes and eighteen eggs for breakfast, and thirteen sandwiches for lunch – two each of six kinds of meat, and one jelly sandwich for dessert.  Mind you, he was a fireman on the railroad at that time, back when you shoveled coal into the boiler.

When I worked for Blue Cross we could tell that some subscribers were railroad retires from their membership numbers, and I would sometimes ask what line they had been with. One elderly man did tell me he was with B&O, and I asked him, not expecting a positive response, if he had know LeRoy Porstmann.

A brief silence on the other end of the line, and then “Child, do you eat like your grandfather?”

You can get an idea of the kitchen table, here: https://www.gocomics.com/herman/2018/06/27?ct=v&cti=1322235


Incompetence, Thy Name is Comcast

17 Feb

For reasons which defy logic, it is less expensive to use Comcast for TV, Internet and phone service than it is for only TV and Internet.  We really like Vonage, because their rates for overseas calls are very low – most of Europe is free and even my bi-weekly call to Australia is only 2 cents a minute. When you talk for an hour, that adds up! Comcast offers total US calling, but their overseas rates seem to date from the 60s. Anyway, after some toing and froing, we decided to go with them anyway.

I worked for Blue Cross for ten years, and I thought I knew incompetence inside and out, but Comcast beats all.

The Squire spent an hour on the phone on Friday, getting bounced from pillar to post, and then again today doing the same thing. I cannot tell you the number of times he repeated his name, address and both our regular phone number and his cell number. Nobody seemed to know what was going on. One young lady promised to call him back within fifteen minutes; that was a little after noon, and it is now 4:30.

It finally turned out that nobody – nobody! – can figure out how to change our phone over from one service to another without changing the number, which we refuse to do. We’ve had the same number since 1972, and it’s a really easy one to remember. When I got sick in 1982 the part of my brain that does numbers disappeared. Anything I knew before I turned 40 is still in there, but after that – forget it. I’ve told the girls they can never change their phone numbers, because I won’t be able to call them.  It’s bad enough that I have to tell folks I don’t have a cell because I don’t know the number.

They’ll never believe I don’t have a land line.