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Tell me about your grandfathers.

One grandfather frightened me when I was younger. His first language was Czech, and I could barely understand him when I was young. But he got kinder when he got older. His last words to me were "I love you. Always will".

The other grandfather was a genius. He got his law degree when he was 16, I think. He had Asperger's syndrome. He was impossible to get close to, but I never stopped trying. I guess he loved me, but he only expressed it once.

I miss both of them.

by Anonymousreply 5510/13/2012

Paternal Grandpa died before I was born.

Maternal Grandpa taught me how to tie my shoelaces. He made us "toys" that were fashioned out of big brown chestnuts that fell from the tall chestnut tree in their front yard. He had the best garden in the backyard, full of corn and potatoes and tomatoes and scallions and rhubarb. He made sure to plant rows of my Grandma's favorite flowers in front of the window that looked out from the kitchen so she could enjoy them instead of looking at rows of vegetables.

He was a sweet, small, quiet man who apparently loved to bang the hell out of my nasty, overbearing Grandmother because they had 12 kids. The first was born in 1900 and the last was born in 1920! He outlived my Grandma by several years and was noticeably very happy and content for those years.

by Anonymousreply 110/10/2012

Maternal grandfather was from Sweden - heavy accent all his life. Distant, read a lot - not too many memories of him. He didn't engage a lot. Somewhat typically Swedish.

Paternal grandfather was a great man with an overbearing wife. Everyone loved him - he used to go for "walks" to get away from wifey - but he was actually smoking cigarettes. His wife never knew (!).

by Anonymousreply 210/10/2012

I never heard my American grandfather speak more than two words. "Yep," and "Nope."

He was tongue tied and smoked like a chimney. He coughed all the time. I'm not sure if he didn't talk because of the speech impediment or the cough.

Then he had a stroke and would say, "Yeh, yeh, yeh," when he meant "no," and "Nah, nah, nah" when he said yes.

My American grandparents babysat me exactly once, when my parents went Christmas shopping. I was about 3 or 4 years old. I must have done something my grandfather didn't want me to do and he grabbed me by the arm and hit my butt three times very hard with a rolled up newspaper. I screamed and screamed. They never babysat for me again.

My Irish grandfather was a drunk who blathered incoherently at times. He and my Irish grandmother were extremely loud people. They didn't talk, they yelled at the top of their lungs. They had about 50 grandchildren and never bothered to try to learn our names. They didn't think it was important. They'd raised their 9 children and their grown children were responsible for their own children. They never gave us birthday or Christmas presents. I always laughed at living, doting grandparents I saw on tv. I figured that type of grandparent was as fake as the housewives depicted wearing dresses and pearls whe cleaning.

None of my grandparents had more than a 5th grade education.

by Anonymousreply 310/10/2012

[quote] I always laughed at living, doting grandparents

Sorry, meant "loving," not "living."

by Anonymousreply 410/10/2012

one died in the fifties of a heart issue that couldn't be properly addressed at that time, after being born in Germany, growing up in Illinois, fighting in WWII and raising five daughters. I'm apparently a spitting image of him.

The other was born in the 19th century and fought in on the side of the Hapsburg Empire in the cavalry. He later immigrated to the USA, brought his wife and ten children and became a coal-miner, then union enforcer. he died at the age of 92. I met him once and he wasn't very interested, like many of his generation, kids were women's work and he didn't suffer them.

by Anonymousreply 510/10/2012

Never knew my maternal grandfather. My father was illegitimate and knew my grandfather wasn't his real father. He used to lock my father in the closet and made him sleep on the porch. I remember him rocking and twiddling his thumbs all the time. He had this Crysler with push button transmission he would let me drive when I was aboutn10 and it had this funky knob on the steering wheel so you could turn corners with one hand.

by Anonymousreply 610/11/2012

My paternal grandfather died when I was young so I don't remember anything about him although we do share the same first name as does my father, different middle names though.

My maternal grandfather died a few years ago and everyone still misses him. We often say "this reminds me of grandpop", etc. He was working class, could barely read but had a huge heart. My mother often told the story of how, when she was a young girl, he took her to visit a friend who owned a stable. It was almost winter, with a deep chill in the air, and he was wearing a long flannel coat. As they walked the stables, they saw a guy lying in the hay shivering under a thin blanket (my grandfather's friend would often let stragglers stay overnight when the weather was bad). My grandfather took off his coat and gave it to the guy, saying he had another at home (which he didn't). My grandfather had only one arm as the result of an electrical accident when he was a young man but it never held him back, he was able to fix anything from small appliances to cars.

by Anonymousreply 710/11/2012

One grandfather died when I was 4 or 5. He called me, a little girl with blonde hair, Goldilocks. He also would have Old Milwaukee and referred to his beers as "Colorado Kool-aid." His father had died when he was like 15 so he never even finished high school and had to go work in the mines until all his younger siblings grew up and he could become his own man.

The other grandfather died when I was 18. He was a farmer who wore Osh Kosh overalls all the time. He dropped out of school in 8th grade because of the depression. He used the n-word to describe things like a n-word cat, which my brother helpfully punched me when I repeated at 4 and I've never used the n-word again. But other than that flaw he was a nice guy who loved his family and loved to laugh.

by Anonymousreply 810/11/2012

What are grandfathers? Maternal grandfather died before I was born; paternal died when I was 3. I must have met him at least once as there is a picture of me with him.

by Anonymousreply 910/11/2012

One died in an accident almost 40 years before I was born, so of course he was a saint in everyone's memories. Who knows what he was actually like.

His replacement, my step-grandfather, was a renaissance man who loved children and spent many hours helping my siblings and I build things, teaching us things, and explaining how things work. He was the epitome of patience, though not of industry.

My other grandfather was a quiet, hard working farmer who usually smelled of cherry pipe tobacco. He had a practical kind of intelligence developed from observation and a dry wit that makes me laugh even in his absence. My uncle and mother have both told me I get my temperament from him, while I look a lot more like the long-dead grandfather I never knew.

by Anonymousreply 1010/11/2012

One wore earrings

The other wore Caftans!!!

by Anonymousreply 1110/11/2012

Mother's Dad- Born in 1899. Apparently he was a very popular man, big Dane, good looking and very friendly. Worked for the telephone company. President of the school board and scout leader in their small northern town. Was killed August 15, 1945. Was trimming trees for the phone company and fell out of a tree. Only fell 13 feet but hit his head on the branch. Doctor said he was dead before he hit the ground. Mom was 8. Gramma raise the kids on her own. She always referred to him as "My husband" and not "Your Grandfather".

Father's Dad- Born in Belgium, emigrated here with his folks in 1902 when he was two months old. Became a talented baker and ran the bakery of a popular restaurant for many years here in my city. Family was lucky as he worked all through the Depression. Was a bootlegger during Prohibition. Died when I was four. Only have one clear memory of him...winter outdoors we were standing in his driveway. I looked up to him and he seemed incredibly tall and had hairy nostrils.

by Anonymousreply 1210/11/2012

OP, you're an Ashkenazi Jew, right? That's such a classic description.

I don't remember either of my grandfathers: one died before I was born (he was nearly 50 when my mother was born), and one lived until I was 14, but was in such poor health that I don't think I ever had a single conversation with him.

by Anonymousreply 1310/11/2012

Paternal Grandfather died when I was a month old. I never knew him. He was quite active in the Orangemen's Lodge (here in Canada), so it was a bit of a shocker when my Dad married Mom, a French Canadian Roman Catholic. I am told that he was a very decent man who always kept a jacket and tie hanging in the hall and never answered the door without putting them both on.

Maternal Grandfather (Pe-pere) was born in 1886 and was quite old when I was born. He was thrown out of one old folks home for punching his roommate who tried to turn off the TV during a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. I recall he made me giggle by singing old French songs and by making a popping sound with his mouth. He died in the middle of Christmas Dinner when I was 12.

by Anonymousreply 1410/11/2012

Never knew either.

Paternal grandfather was from London. He was a boxer and worked on the docks, and had tattoos on both forearms. Total cockney trash. He moved to the US with my grandmother where my dad was born. There he was a limo driver for a wealthy family in Manhattan. Major sonofabitch. When my paternal grandmother died of lupus, the asshole abandoned my dad when he was just 10 and moved upstate where he started another family. I guess he did my dad a favor. The wealthy family basically adopted my dad and gave him a totally different life where he had the opportunity to make something of himself. Asshole grandpa died in 71.

Maternal grandfather was an all-American ideal. Very good looking, strapping. Grew up in Indiana and ended up playing football for Knute Rockne at Notre Dame. He became a lawyer in Chicago, worked with Elliot Ness before starting his own law firm in rural Michigan. He went on to buy up mineral rights to land across North Dakota and Montana. These plots now have oil rigs all over them. The guy was visionary. He was also a complete alcoholic and emotionally frigid. My mom was terrified of him. He died of heart attack at the age of 55.

by Anonymousreply 1510/11/2012

My fraternal grandfather died of hardening of the arteries 15 years before I was born.

Mom's parents gave my mom and her 2 sisters each a lot on their property. My grandfather and his 3 sons in law cultivated a 2 acre garden each year. Granddad always planted a row of strawberries just for the 6 grand kids. There was also a huge blackberry bramble, and my grandmother would make preserves. Each November, Granddad would slaughter a hog. My butcher father would cut it up. With the scraps, they made the best sausage I ever ate. I miss them all so much.

by Anonymousreply 1610/11/2012

Maternal grandfather was the oldest son of Sicilian immigrants. He terrorized some of his siblings - beat his youngest sister so badly that her nose was broken, pinned one brother between a truck and a tree leaving him with a lame leg. Married a prostitute he met at the port. She died young. He died of a heart attack triggered by a fall at work when I was eighteen months old; I have fragmented memories of his funeral, but no memory of him. Even when I see photos of him, I just never think, "That's my grandfather." I was close to several of his siblings, though, and the one with the broken nose was my foster mother.

Paternal grandfather was military. He only died a few years ago, but I was never close to that side of the family. Just never saw them often.

by Anonymousreply 1710/11/2012

My paternal grandfather was born in in in the year of Queen Victoria's (Golden) Jubilee - 1887 and died in 1970 (when I was 10), having returned to his native Ireland about five years earlier. I have a very vague recollection of him from when he lived in the U.S., and from visiting him in Ireland when I was 6 and 7. When saying goodbye on the last visit, he pulled from his pocket a roll of twenty dollar U.S. bills and peeled them off into two piles: a larger pile with consecutive serial numbers and a smaller pile with non-consecutive numbers.

Paper money with consecutive serial numbers was always to be kept, he said; the rest I could spend as I pleased, and he gave me the lot in two packets. At age 7, it struck me as a very odd custom, and still does. He was kindly and quite old, a little frail and a little petty in the way that the very old can be when their world shrinks.

My maternal grandfather was born in 1899 and died when I was six. My few impressions are of an old somewhat dumpy and lazy, wheezy man who always sat and only reluctantly shuffled about. He was always enthroned in a great leather chair beside which sat a standing ashtray that stank of damp cigar butts. He liked children and people in general better at a distance, and liked women even less. He rarely said anything, though he laughed easily with a high, breathy "tee-hee-hee." His rooms were all dark and nicotine brown and filled with vaguely Edwardian gee-gaws. Every lamp was in the form of another object: a tractor, a frigate ship with elaborate riggings, a cast-iron stove. There were cast-iron door stops and a brass spittoons and a huge oak desk brimming with papers and odd bits and old, indecipherable oil paintings with a doughnut glaze of nicotine obscuring the subject matter.

by Anonymousreply 1810/11/2012

My maternal grandfather was a bricklayer who worked with the WPA putting down brick streets in Fort Worth, Texas. He kept his family alive on abou fifty cents a day. He never drank yet died of liver disease at 55. I barely knew him. He called me Scooter. He was in a sick bed for something like four years and always promised me we would go fishing as soon as he got better. My mother loved him very much and for that I love him too. I hope he meets me on the other side to take me fishing.

by Anonymousreply 1910/11/2012

Which one?

The one born in 1878 or the one born in 1892?

I only knew the latter, he died when I was 8.

by Anonymousreply 2010/11/2012

Apparently I'm unusual in that not only did I know both of my grandfathers well (both lived near me for substantial parts of my childhood and adult life), I still had both of them well into my thirties, and the last of the two only passed away this year (he was 91; I'm now 40). Both grew up as dirt-poor Depression-era kids; both served in the military during WWII and went to college via the G.I. Bill; and both ended up becoming remarkably successful in their careers. Also, somewhat oddly, both of them lived well past my grandmothers, in one case by more than 20 years.

My paternal "Grandaddy" (dad's dad, the one who just passed away) was a sweetheart who grew up in the Deep South and had a thick head of hair up until the day he died (and it was naturally black until well into his 70s). He and my Granny lived ten minutes away from me until I was 12, and unfortunately Granny had an unexpected aneurysm and died when I was a college freshman. Grandaddy simply couldn't cope with living life as a single person, so he made the mistake of marrying a woman within a year of Granny's death who would turn out to be a cunt from hell. She successfully managed to alienate ALL of his friends and, unfortunately, almost all of his family as well, myself included. I tried to make up for it during his last couple of months of life, at which point his cunt wife suddenly became "constantly busy" with "church business" and would pop in to see him once or twice a week, even though he was still perfectly lucid and interested in the world. Oh, I guess I should mention that she pretty much killed him; he landed in the hospital ONLY because they got into a fight that led to him having a seizure. Although he had, for 20 years, stood steadfast by far, the fact that she nearly killed him was the breaking point; he declared flat-out -- to me directly, since my father doesn't live nearby and only my aunt and I were able to spend a substantial amount of time with him in his final months -- that he wanted a divorce as soon as he got out of the hospital. Unfortunately, that day never came; due to some elaborate medical complications, he passed away a couple of weeks later. Only afterwards did I find out his cunt wife had been milking my dad for money for years now, never mind the fact that my grandfather had a substantial pension and Social Security benefits and they lived in a large house in a country-club community. Dad, to his credit, cut her off immediately after the funeral, and none of us have heard from her since. We're pretty sure she'll be forced to sell their house and "downsize" her life -- no more new Lincolns every year and elaborate cruises! (It should come as no shock that she's estranged from her own two children as well.)

My "Grandpa," on my mom's side, was a Jekyll-and-Hyde type. To the outside world, he was always the gregarious flirt who'd walk two miles each way after retirement to the town village to talk and chat with all of the area shopkeepers, dental hygienists, waitresses, etc. You'd never know that the actual *point* of him walking all that way was to fill up on booze, and that he'd been a raging alcoholic most of his life, since well before I was born. He was an angry drunk, too, yelling at me for being too much of a "pussy" for refusing to tryout for my junior-high football squad, and ranting endlessly about how "the blacks and wetbacks are ruining this goddamn country." (The interesting irony here is that he himself was the son of two Italian immigrants who'd passed through Ellis Island a few years before he was born. My roots on my Grandaddy's side, however, date back nearly to the Mayflower.) Thankfully he mellowed a bit with age, and also after he finally quit drinking around the age of 75 (with a few relapses, particularly when my sainted Grandma passed away). He even found love again, with a lovely woman he met at the retirement center he moved to after Grandma died, but she, too, passed before he did. Finally he died quite suddenly, but peacefully, of a heart attack in his sleep.

by Anonymousreply 2110/11/2012

Maternal Grandpa was Dutch, a driver for the Loew family out on Long Island. Then he was a janitor in a chemical factory. He was a son of a bitch and I hated him.

Paternal Grandpa was a Polish Jew who came over here around the same time as the other one but did very well, eventually owning several hotels in Manhattan (anyone remember the old Murray Hill at 41st and Park?). He was 5 foot. His wife was 4'9" and all their kids were over 6 foot.

by Anonymousreply 2210/11/2012

Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. I would have liked very much to have known both. Apparently, my Dad's dad was a Grade A prick. My Mom's dad was very wealthy and apparently super sweet to everyone. I would have liked to have judged for myself.

by Anonymousreply 2310/11/2012

Only my paternal grandfather is still alive. He's 87 and one of the greatest people I've ever known. WW2 veteran and unabashed socialist. More supportive than either of my parents when I came out (who weren't terrible about it, mind you). He and my grandmother divorced before I was born; while he never remarried, he's had a cadre of "lady friends," as he calls them, for my entire life. He gets more sex than I do.

My maternal grandfather died when I was 8. He lived in another state and I didn't really know him.

by Anonymousreply 2410/11/2012

Paternal Grandfather: I never met him, but he was in the Air Force during WWII and received a purple heart or something. He wrote an autobiography about it that was somewhat well received. He lived to be 90.

Maternal Grandfather: He was a horrible, fundie asshole for most of my life. Literally scared the shit out of me. Told me I was going to hell - and he didn't even know I was gay (I was 17 when he told me my eternal fate). Then he got divorced (my grandma couldn't take his evilness any longer), got cancer, went to therapy at 70 and become the coolest person ever. Total redemption. Apologized to me and the family for what a jerk he was. He lived with cancer that was supposed to kill him in three months for six years. Died at 76.

by Anonymousreply 2510/11/2012

[quote] received a purple heart or something

The 'or something' makes a big difference!

My understanding is that a Purple Heart is basically an automatic award if you are wounded or killed (presumably the former, in the case of your grandfather).

So being awarded a Purple Heart is somewhat different to being awarded a (Congressional) Medal of Honor (for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty).

Very few Medals of Honor are awarded (135 for Korea, 247 for Vietnam, 4 for Iraq, 6 for Afghanistan) and they are often awarded posthumously.

by Anonymousreply 2610/11/2012

The defining event for my grandpa is WWII. He lied about his age to join and fought in the Pacific. His brother's ship was hit by the Japanese and he died after surviving several days in shark-infested waters. My life is so far removed from something like that its ridiculous.

by Anonymousreply 2710/11/2012

Oh, i forgot. The other defining event would be that he lost his first wife in childhood. My father was the second and she died during the next birth. He remarried, I think in part so he wouldn't have to give the kids to his parents to raise as he was not suited to it. I never knew my real grandma, and the one he married next was a cold bitch.

by Anonymousreply 2810/11/2012

R26 I thought I made it very clear I never met my paternal grandfather. He was a decorated war hero, but I'm not sure why or how. My father and his family weren't ever part of my life and while I know some peripheral info about them, I haven't ever bothered to learn the details, as they never bothered to learn the details of my life.

Cool?

by Anonymousreply 2910/11/2012

[quote] The other defining event would be that he lost his first wife in childhood.

He married a child bride? Was he Muslim or Mormon?

by Anonymousreply 3010/11/2012

My paternal grandfather died at the bottom of a flight of stairs, suffering from advanced pneumonia and extreme drunkenness, before I was born.

Speaking of Medal of Honors, my maternal grandfather received the MOH for his service during World War II, and the French Croix de Guerre. His favorite people at the end of his life were Tiger Woods and Steve Urkel.

by Anonymousreply 3110/11/2012

My paternal grandfather was a general surgeon and an arrogant SOB born in Arizona Territory. He had an affected Harvard accent (we're from Oakland, CA. Puhleeze.)and demanded that his own children call him "Doctor".

My maternal grandfather was born and raised on a small island in Greece. He couldn't speak English very well and communicated with me by hitting me or not hitting me when we went fishing on the SF Bay. No one cried when he died. My mother did not like that I look exactly like him, and always noted that I behaved nothing like him, which I now recognize as a compliment.

by Anonymousreply 3210/11/2012

I never knew my maternal grandfather. He abandoned my mother's family repeatedly while my mum was growing up. He'd return just long enough to get my grandmother preggers then leave again.

My paternal grandfather was an amazing man. He was a horse trainer and breeder, and we lived with him until we emigrated. He taught me to never be afraid of trying new things and that, no matter what anyone said, I should always be myself. He and my gran took in my mother's youngest brothers and sister after my parents got married and raised them like they were part of their extended family. He helped them go to university and he walked my mother's sister down the aisle when she got married.

I spent the better part of my childhood trailing behind him as he did the chores and took care of the horses. One of my first memories is of being on a horse in front of my granda. He had me riding before I could walk.

He died a few years ago.

by Anonymousreply 3310/11/2012

Let us be real here and focus on what everyone is thinking. Is homosexuality inherited? Know so many gay guys with closeted Lesbian mothers. Or at least 1st degree relatives also being gay. Why is this? Because of lame society in the past, we'll never really be able to figure out if it does run in families. If it does, why? Why are those families chosen as a population control group? Why?

by Anonymousreply 3410/12/2012

Let's be real here and focus on what [bold]you[/bold] are thinking, R34, for surely you think for us all.

by Anonymousreply 3510/12/2012

My paternal grandparents had thick Austrian accents and they scared me too, op. Basically because we didn't see them that much. Once I was there for a while I was fine for the most part, though.

My grandfather died recently and he was a quiet man, too. Very accomplished musician and had played violin in the Viennese Orchestra before the war. I won't go into his whole story, but he had been on a deportation list to the camps and the NAZI's were looking for him. Some non-Jews helped him escape to England, where he met my g'ma who had also fled to England. They married in England, and my father and his older brother were both born outside London. He worked as a civil engineer for a living here in The States.

My maternal g'pa liked to move around alot. They lived in different parts of the US and Brazil and Costa Rica, where my mother was born. He was the Director of The American Culture Center in Curitiba and Fortelesa or Rio, I think. He wrote books for ESOL students, too.

He got Polio while he they were in Brazil and walked with a cane when we were kids. My sisters and I loved to play and dance with his various canes. He also liked to give us a stick of Wrigley's gum when we were kids, which we loved. Eventually he ended up in a wheelchair, and the he was bed-ridden for the last few years of his life, so it was a blessing when he finally passed on.

by Anonymousreply 3610/12/2012

Never knew either of them.

Maternal grandfather was a skilled car mechanic who was paralyzed in a car accident, and passed away 10 years before I was born.

Nobody tells me a thing about my paternal grandfather. I've gotten oblique stories from my uncle that he was a violent drunk, my father(!) kicked him off their farm, and he died on the streets. Which is most likely why my parents never drink anything stronger than Mogen David.

by Anonymousreply 3710/12/2012

[quote]My fraternal grandfather died of hardening of the arteries 15 years before I was born.

Fraternal????

by Anonymousreply 3810/13/2012

[quote] My sisters and I loved to play and dance with his various canes

Are you a lesbian, R36, or do gay men have thing with canes too!

by Anonymousreply 3910/13/2012

My dad's dad died before I was born. Years before. I was 4 when my grandpa on my mom's side died. I only have one memory of him, and I cherish it. Love them both blindly.

by Anonymousreply 4010/13/2012

I never knew either grandfather.

My maternal grandfather was a fairly well-known cinematographer. He left behind a pretty cool memorabilia collection, and I've read about him in books of certain films he worked on.

I know practically nothing of my paternal grandfather, as my dad, who was young when his dad died, never speaks of him.

by Anonymousreply 4110/13/2012

Both of my grandmothers were nasty cunts. Both of my grandfathers died young.

by Anonymousreply 4210/13/2012

I never knew my grandfathers... :( everyone says they were wonderful though and had many friends. I've been told I would enjoyed having them in my life but they both died before I was born.

by Anonymousreply 4310/13/2012

Pakistani gay guy here.

My paternal grandfather was born in rural family. His first marriage was when he was five years old, and his bride was three years old. The marriage was consummated when he was nineteen and she was seventeen. They had two sons who were apparently so handsome that people would stare at them on the streets and a British family asked to adopt them (colonial times). Unfortunately his beautiful first wife died in childbirth and then he married my grandmother with whom he had 15 children (12 survived). He was a breaurocrat and also started up a succesful buisness which he left (together with a huge house) to his first two sons. He died before I was born. His will created a lot bitterness with his other children, but when my dad and uncles were going through his personal effects, they found a chest full of small gold and silver ingots - essentially his retirement fund. It was more than enough to support the family, put the younger children through college and pay for their weddings. Once my youngest aunt was married, my grandmother felt her responsibilites were over, so she went off on hajj to Mecca, and on her return, she built a mausoleum for her husband out of gratitude. Over the years, it has become a sort of shrine for the superstitious locals who go and pray for help in financial matters. So in a way, he ended up as a local saint. One of the stories about him is that he lived very frugally and never spent any money on himself, but was very openhanded towards family and dependent relatives. Another is that he never touched paper money, because he felt it was unpure and unnatural.

My maternal grandpa was very different. He was an army man who retired after WWII and then proceeded to his wife miserable by trying to run the household along military lines and interfering in everything. Apparently after he criticized her domestic arrangments once too often, she hurled a silver teapot full of tea at his head and knocked him unconscious. He behaved himself afterwards. Still, he educated all his daughters at a time when education for women was very rare, and three of my aunts and my mom came to America for PhDs. It wasn't easy on his pension. (My parents met while both were studying at UofM.) Neither of his two sons did so well, unfortunately. He and my grandmom managed to live a very sophisticated and socially elite life on a shoestring. He died when I was about eight.

As for thier descendants, my parents, they came from such different backgrounds that I have yet to find something they agree upon. Still, they have been married for 50 years, so I guess it worked out.

by Anonymousreply 4410/13/2012

My paternal grandfather only had a 5th grade education. When his father died in a coal mining accident, my GF had to leave school and go to work in a foundry. Even though he did not have formal schooling, he had good people skills and a great deal of drive -- he ended up owning a foundry. He died when I was 9, and I remember him as a gentle and good man. He valued the importance of education, and all three of his sons received doctoral degrees (two PhD and one DVM).

My maternal grandfather was an alcoholic with a domineering personality. When he eventually joined AA, he became addicted to meetings and would go 3-4 nights a week; the other 3 he would be at the VFW hall or at the town hall (he was also on the town council). He was also a racist (did not trust any people of color except the Pinoy -- he served in the Philippines in WWII). He died when I was 30 and I never really liked him.

by Anonymousreply 4610/13/2012

My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic and lived his whole life in a one-up one-down in rural Yorkshire. I know almost nothing about him even though he didn't die till I was about 10. We only saw him once a year on Christmas and he'd drink a bottle of rum and then fall asleep. He hated my uncle (my dad's sister's husband) who was a God-botherer and teetotaler. One year my uncle gave him a pair of tartan socks, the next year my grandad gave them back to him. The same pair of socks went back and forth between them for many years after. That's the only anecdote I have about him.

My maternal grandfather was a Jewish immigrant, who lied about his age and the fact he could not swim in order to enlist in the Navy at 15 (during WWII). Twice his ship was torpedoed and sank. The first time was right after he enlisted, and he floated in the water for two days until he got rescued by an Italian ship, and of course he became a PoW at that point, but because of his injuries (from being in the sea for so long) he was taken to a hospital in a small town by the coast, not a PoW camp. He escaped by faking that he wasn't getting better when he was, and then just walked out in full view of the town. Because he was so young and very dark-skinned everyone just assumed he was a local kid. At some point he came back to London and met my grandmother, who was a single mother, got her pregnant, then married her and adopted her older child. The second torpedoing was after their marriage. He did lots of jobs after the war, including being a cabbie - he used to drive the Kray Brothers, sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 4710/13/2012

I never met my paternal grandfather.

by Anonymousreply 4810/13/2012

I had one, it was so cool. It would go tick tock and party wouldn't stop

by Anonymousreply 4910/13/2012

Mine are both deceased and I never met one, he died before I was born.

Maternal: very tall, white haired, always had cream soda for us to drink in the fridge when we came over. Loved to cook. Was soft spoken and nice.

Paternal: I have been told he was the owner of a very big company that employed almost an entire small town in its heyday. He had lots of kids and ran his family like the king of the castle. He was also very tall and bald so I have been told.

by Anonymousreply 5010/13/2012

R44, that was interesting to read. You seem like a nice guy. How old are you?

by Anonymousreply 5110/13/2012

[quote]went to therapy at 70 and become the coolest person ever. Total redemption. Apologized to me and the family for what a jerk he was.

This is interesting. Any idea what he resolved in therapy that allowed him to find some internal peace?

by Anonymousreply 5210/13/2012

My paternal grandfatber died of a heart attack on Father's Day before I was born.

My mathernal grandfather was one of 12 kids in his family. His Dad died when his youngest sibling was 2 months old. This was before social security. My great grandmother had to take in washing and ironing from neighbors to barely be able to feed her kids. Then when she was in her early 30's she woke up one morning and was deaf in both ears!

My grandfather was a wonderful man who could fix and build anything. He had a great sense of humor and loved to play jokes. He adored his Mom and my Grandmother. He retired a few years early (probably @ 62) to take care of my grandmother who had cancer. He died of a heart attack when he was 75.

by Anonymousreply 5310/13/2012

More

by Anonymousreply 5410/13/2012

Thank you, R51. I am 45. I enjoyed this thread as well. It inspired me to ask my dad for more details about my granddad. According to him, his dad developed an aversion to paper money after a holy man told him that if his skin came in contact with either illegal money or paper money, he would lose everything he held dear, so till the end of his life he never allowed bank notes to cross his palm. My grandmother built the mausoleum because he appeared to her in a dream while she was in Mecca, and accused her of leaving him homeless after all he had provided for her, so she used the last gold brick to build him a "house". The local people who think he is a saint leave well- polished coins on his headstone which used to be collected and redistributed among the poor. Unfortunately, coins have next to no value in Pakistan now, so his sons and grandsons who still live there send in regular contributions.

by Anonymousreply 5510/13/2012
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