In our family lore is the battle of the grilled cheese sandwich, waged between my sisters and I one summer day when I was maybe 8. The record is muddy as the accounts of the conflict disagree. Mom had preserved some of the artifacts, which now come to light and judgement.

The evidence is found in a special envelope…

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

The details are still vague; I believe our mother asked us to each write a recording of the events. My sister’s account, typed out on a full page letter, paint a side which I still dispute.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

The letter, un-edited–


I’m writing this letter on behalf of your loving (?????) bratty son. He has’nt stoped being a brat all day. I can honestly say (and this is not a lie) that he has’nt listened to me or Harriet all day. At lunch time I was washig my pants and Harriet was getting out the trunk (for him) he came down and ordered me to make him a grilled cheese sandwich. Itold him I would if he would wait untill I finished he ran up to his room and started to cry (boo woo). Well I finally made him one (for you not him) and he was Kneeling, laying and such on your kitchen chairs. I told him to stop but he just laughed and kept right on doing it. Now I detest being laughed at and I told him many times but you know him he just dose’nt listen to you, me or anybody for that matter.

He then started to twirl his plate around whit his sandwich on it, The sandwich in turn flew off on to the table. He chomped, burped and made noises like a cow. I told him “you would’nt do that if daddy or mommy was here so don’t do it now.”

He just said “so what”

When Harriet and I were eating he went in and turned his T.V. all the way up (typical baby stuff) We had the radio on and he came up and turned the dial. Now I8ll be honest and tell you that this is the second letter I have written, he ripped up the last one.

Just as I was writing this letter he came alog and pressed the keyys now you’ve told him many times never to touch the type-writer

Now a minute ago I went to the bathroom (right after him) and he made everywhere but the seat! Now I don’t like to come into a Bathroom and go wihh someone slses waste material all overthe seat!

Of course I cleaned it up (for you) but If he bose’nt change his piggish ways I think daddy will have a stroke!

I hope you will listen

love Judy and Harriet

That is a pretty damning story. I must have been some sort of Chuckie-on-speed devil child. Evil!

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Lacking a typewriter, I have my own hand scribed version of the events:

Dear Mom

Judy (IT) is going to give you a PEPER of Lies. When Judy (IT) saw my seshell store she said “Those are ugLy. Who will buy a seashell with a bunch of paint?”

I asked her (IT) to make me a grill cheese sandwich. She (IT) said “NO”.

THERE Is a Lot more.


During our summer trips I would collect buckets of sea shells, bring them home, paint them with colors, and try to sell them from a table in front of our house. Apprently my sister (IT) was not impressed with my early art.

There is an addendum

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

P.S. She goes around saying HER name “BULL”

I think this in reference to the post grilled cheese dialogue where Judy disagreed with my assertions.

Even with this archival materials, scholars debate the events of this fateful day. Maybe I should ask my internet audience to decide… what really happened? How was the grilled cheese requested? Who is the victim?

Well, I can tell you I was a bratty little kid and my older sisters were charged with watching over me. I probably enjoyed pushing their buttons. I am lucky they did not bind me with tape and leave me in the woods.

And that is the story of the The Infamous Grilled Cheese Incident. Maybe we will find also in the archives, details on the Dispute over Crying Over Spilled Milk Event.

Family stories are rich stuff.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


  1. This reminds me of the “Great Tennis Tournament” incident in my family. There still rages the debate as to who won this tournament (my brother or I), and to whom the trophy should rightfully belong. This happened some 35 years ago and, unfortunately, my mother chose the opposite route — bury all physical evidence. Regarding your story, as a younguest brother with many such memories, I would hve to say the tie probably goes to the sisters. Sorry.

  2. That is quite possibly the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. I love the multiple perspectives.
    The artist in me feels the scorn of decorated seashell criticisms. The big sister in me is certain it was all your fault, although the little kid in me feels the injustice of siblings. (They are full of BULL for sure!)
    Finally, the mom in me is impressed your mother kept that for so many years!

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