The Broken Tomato  
b y L y l e R . H i l l  
here are nine of them all together,  
“Oh yes, that’s  
but no two are alike ... and for right, but Grandpa  
the most part, not even similar. is old and some-  
Each one is uniquely different—not times he forgets these  
just physically different, but different things. So tell me your  
in attitude, aptitude, appearance and joke.”  
general outlook as well. Some of this is  
“Okay, Grandpa. How do  
to be expected, but I could never have you fix a broken tomato?”  
guessed that the differences would be  
As I did my best to give the impres-  
so pronounced or the variations so ob- sion that I was in deep thought trying to  
As he ran out of the room, he looked  
vious. I don’t have a favorite, of course. come up with an acceptable response, back at me and said, “I don’t know,  
Jake, the oldest, is a gifted drummer. “number eight” rocked back and forth Grandpa . . . ask Sydney.”  
Tucker is athletic—particularly in on his little four-year-old heels.  
baseball and wrestling. Sam is also  
“Grandpa, if you don’t have an an- peated his tomato joke to everyone  
an athlete—his specialty is hockey. swer it’s okay, because I can tell it to he came in contact with and, as could  
Maggie is artistic and plays the violin. you. My dad didn’t know it either.”  
be expected, he never failed to get a  
Sydney is a gymnast.David is an expert  
“What about your mom, Zach? She’s chuckle and a positive comment. Ul-  
LEGO builder and plays the eupho- a lot smarter than your dad.”  
timately, he made his way back to me  
nium. Ryan is our other hockey player.  
“No, my mom didn’t get it and even and told me the joke again. Now be-  
Zachary is the joke teller. And the little Sydney didn’t get it.”  
cause I am a good grandpa, and have  
one, Jillian, is the girl who loves books  
Sydney, a.k.a. cousin number five, been preconditioned by the three kids  
Within just a few minutes Zach re-  
and ballet. They are, as they regularly is considered by the younger cousins and seven grandkids that have come  
refer to each other, The Cousins, and to know everything there is to know before him, I naturally acted as if I had  
they are also my grandchildren. Six about anything that is important. Syd- never heard the joke and gave him the  
boys ... three girls. As The Cousins get ney is ten.  
older, I try to spend one-on-one time  
response he expected. Over the next  
“Okay,” I replied as I leaned forward few weeks he continued to tell his joke  
with them. I want them to know their to get as close as I could to this little to me and to all the others who had  
grandfather. I did not get to know ei- bundle of cuteness,“Grandpa gives up. heard him tell it before. And since we  
would never want to hurt the feelings  
ther of mine.  
I was alone in the kitchen reading  
How do you fix a broken tomato?”  
As his eyes squinted ever so slightly of such an adorable little guy, we all  
the Sunday paper when out of the he leaned toward me looking like he continued to laugh and tell him what a  
corner of my eye I saw him tiptoeing was ready to explode.  
in my direction. His impish grin gave  
“With tomato paste!” he replied as  
continued on page 124  
him away. I knew he had something on he fell to the floor laughing hys-  
his little four-year-old mind and that, terically. This lasted for about  
whatever the something was, it was 30 to 45 seconds. Then he got  
L y l e R . H i l l is the managing  
director of Keytech North America,  
a company providing research and  
technical services for the glass and  
metal industry. He also provides  
coming my way.  
Grandpa,” he began as I put the what my reaction to all of this  
paper down and gave him my atten- might be.  
tion,“I have a joke for you.”  
“Zach,” I began, “I think that  
Good Zachamundo, let me hear is a pretty funny joke, but can  
back up and faced me to see  
glass-related advice on  
your joke.”  
Grandpa ask you a question?”  
“Okay, Grandpa.”  
“Well Zach ... what is tomato  
Hill has more than 40 years’ experience in the  
glass and metal industry and can be reached  
at You can read his blog every  
other Monday at  
“Grandpa, my name is not Zacha-  
mundo. It is Zachary Baxter Courage  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | September 2017  

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