Joe N. Brown
Joe N. Brown

In the past I have written a tale or two about my German grandmother and will probably add more in the future. The reason being that she was a legend in and around Sanderson, Texas.

This being said, I believe it is time to introduce her to you.

Her name was Aleta Lena Schraffle, and she was born in Lavernia, Texas in 1889.

She spoke fluent German, English and Spanish.

She married Charles Stavley who was the bartender in Juno, Texas and they raised seven children, four boys and three girls.

They owned the store in Juno, then sold it and bought a 12 section ranch in Terrell County where she lived the rest of her long and colorful life and became a legend...at least in our family.

I will try to recall this short story about G.G. Stavley as I was there to guarantee the truth of it really happening.

Grandmother G.G. was in her 90s and was housebound. She had a housekeeper who cooked, cleaned and lived with her. She still ran her business and household with an iron hand.

My cousin, Butch Stavley, and I would go by to check on her and see if she needed any errands ran, or if she had any business to take care of.
You now have the principle character, the time frame and the location of this tale, so let’s get to the gist of it.

Once when her doctor made a house call, she complained of not being able to sleep. The good doctor prescribed a glass of wine each night at bed time.

I have always thought he meant a small juice glass, but G.G. took this to mean a water glass and that’s how she drank it.

One day I went by to check on G.G. and see if I could run any errands for her. We visited and I got my usual cussing for not coming every day.
When I got ready to leave, I asked if she needed anything from town. She answered “Yes, I’m out of wine. Get a signed check there off of the desk, then go by the package store and get me a bottle of wine.”

I got the check and as I started out the door, I turned and asked, “What size bottle and what brand do you want?”

A very annoyed G.G. sharply answered, “Just tell them a bottle of my usual!”

I left to run the errand when it came to me that G.G. was a regular at the liquor store.

This is a true story and it happened out west.