The original toilet-paper hoarder

— Photo from Mark Yingling

Stanton A. Yingling “was an incredible guy” said his grandson Mark Yingling.

To the Editor:

It had to be some time in the 1960s, and we had just been summoned to my grandparents’ house, which was across the street in Schenectady. When we got there, we were met at the door by my grandfather, who had an ear-to-ear grin on his face.

He couldn’t wait to take us downstairs to show us what he had just bought, but first he had to build the suspense. By the time we were finally descending the stairs, our heads were spinning with possibilities. What wonder awaited us?

My grandfather was the ultimate gadget guy and innovator, so the sky was the limit. A new tool for his arsenal maybe? Would it be as cool as the night-crawler farm he had built using earthworms from his garden and a mixture of garden dirt and recycled coffee grounds? Was it 100 pounds of hickory nuts that he brought home from Kentucky every year for my brother and me to crack open for his squirrels?

He was still talking and we were mesmerized, imagining all sorts of things when we reached the basement. He positioned us so that we would have the optimal view of what was about to unfold, reached for the door of one of his cabinets, and with a final flourish threw it open.

Then the next cabinet door was flung open. Then the next. Our eyes widened, our mouths fell open and we were frozen in place, unable to speak.

I remember immediately being simultaneously awestruck and disappointed, a combination of feelings I’ve never experienced again since that day. There, right before our eyes, in all its glory, was a sight our brains could barely process: 1,000 rolls of Scott toilet paper!

But, why? Yes, we wanted to know the backstory too. 

Then came the part of the story my grandfather was most proud of, because, as was the case with most from his generation, even though he had money, he was frugal. Very frugal.

Seems one of the local stores had a sale on toilet paper that was just too good to pass up — five cents per roll. Yes, a nickel for a roll of Scott toilet paper! So, my grandfather happily dropped 50 bucks that day and walked away with a lifetime supply of TP, as well as a lifetime of bragging rights.

Mark Yingling

Clifton Park

Editor’s note: Mark Yingling is known to Enterprise readers because he helps local veterans who gather at the Pollards’ Home Front Café on Altamont’s Main Street.

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