Grandfather's wisdom

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Our Grandparents

Post by 75X11 on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:17 pm

I didn't get to see my fathers' father. He passed in 1953. I did get to know my mothers' father. He started out as a cooper in the glass factory where I grew up and retired in 1956 as an operator of bottle forming machine. They made prescription glassware, such as the bottles that carried the good tasting stuff you took for various ailments. That's my first entry in this pot luck.
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Grandfather's wisdom

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:38 pm

I was blessed with two grandfathers who were rugged individualists. One was steadfast and dependable, frightfully honest and a family man, the other a scoundrel, cheated on his wife, abused his kids, drank up the farm money and cheated everybody he did business with. They were both good to me, and I could clog up the bandwidth of this and a couple other websites telling stories about these two men.

I was raised by my maternal grandparents from when I was just past 3 until I was "in long pants", almost 17 when I got married. 99% of who I am is due to his influence. He was fiercely independent, you either loved or despised him, honest to a fault, had his own sense of right and wrong and wrong was never right. The rules were the same every time, he never gave me a whipping, even though I deserved it, and disappointing him was the worst thing I could imagine. He was a deacon in the church, taught Sunday School for 75 years, drove the church bus, was a 3rd degree Mason and worked for GM for 45 years. He farmed, ran an auto repair shop part time with his brother, and ran moonshine for sport. He re-powered everthing he could with a Buick straight eight, including an F-30 Farmall tractor, a KB-10 International truck, a sawmill and God knows what else. He owned a '37 Buick Century straight eight with eight Winfield 97 carbs, and homemade headers sticking out the hood right in front of the left side mount. His best buddy had a Hudson straight eight similarly equipped, and they would "wring 'em out" every chance they got with a tank of corn squeezin's under the back seat. They never got busted by the law, partly because the law was holding their hats, and partly because those old Ford V-8's couldn't catch them! We would go to the field, he would remove the muffler from his 444 Massey-Harris tractor, and he would teach me to cuss, so I wouldn't "cuss like a girl." He has been gone nearly 20 years, but there is scarcely a day that passes that I do not remember something he taught me. I inherited my curiosity of how things work from him. He believed that he could fix anything.

Kids nowdays don't have that privilege. They don't know and have no relationship with their grandfather. 75 mentioned his grandfather and I thought that maybe some of you might have memories of your grandfather that you could share.

WC

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Re: Grandfather's wisdom

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:47 pm

I think we both had the same idea, 75. Reckon we should join them?

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Re: Grandfather's wisdom

Post by 75X11 on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:55 pm

Hit it! Very Happy
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Re: Grandfather's wisdom

Post by Guest on Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:13 pm

My grandfather never gambled and used to tell me; "The best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it in your pocket!"

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Re: Grandfather's wisdom

Post by 75X11 on Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:43 pm

My grandfather on my fathers' side, I was told, was an electrical engineer with the Union Traction Company of Indiana, that operated the interurban railway between Indianapolis and Ft. Wayne. Neither grandfather made many profound statements that I could remember, but both earned the respect of those who knew them. My grandmother on my mother's side was the one with plenty to say.
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Re: Grandfather's wisdom

Post by Wildcat445 on Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:10 pm

My paternal grandfather, the scoundrel, died in 1980, aged either 90 or 95, depending on who you asked. Nobody seemed to know for sure. Most of his life was a mystery, and neither my dad nor his siblings knew much about grandpa before they came on the scene, except that he volunteered to get into the Army (and avoid the long arm of the law) in World War 1. He was an ambulance driver and was exposed to poison gas in France during the War. This may have accounted for his erratic behavior. He was a farmer by trade. He could either be a hardworking farmer, competent by most accounts, but was also known to just hop off the tractor and disappear for a time varying from a few hours to a few months. Grandma kicked him to the curb, telling him to straighten up or get out. He got out, and for most of the rest of his life, lived with various women in the community or above the fire station in a storage room. He would show up at the farm each morning, eat breakfast with grandma, then do the work, eat supper, and go back to town. He always had a new car, usually a Packard, and dressed to the nines. He would put coveralls over his suit, galoshes over his wingtips, do his chores, then take those off, brush his suit off, and head for town. I remember him riding on the combine or hay baler in a suit and tie and a derby hat with a feather in the hatband. He would give me a silver dollar for getting him a cigar out of his car. I still have several of those silver dollars. Grandma died in 1970 of cancer and they never did get a divorce. Oddly enough, most people in the community liked grandpa, in spite of his shenanigans. He could not borrow a dollar, but folks would give him money. His obituary said that he was a farmer and a member of the volunteer fire department for 35 years, in spite of the fact that he never fought a fire as far as I know. He would have starved to death if grandma had not given him money and if his boys and sons in law had not worked the farm. Grandpa would buy a new car, grandma would pay for it, and then she would drive the old '41 Chevy farm truck they had.

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Re: Grandfather's wisdom

Post by Motorola man on Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:46 pm

My grandparents lived several states away, so I only got to see them once a year. I was fortunate enough to spend the summer with my dad's parents just before my grandfather passed. He was full of wit and wisdom. He gave me my first experience with household wiring by teaching me how to replace a light switch. Grandpa was a MASTER craftsman. He could take an old wooden crate and turn it into a piece of furniture that would be far nicer than anything that you could by in a high end store. I wish that I was able to spend more time with him and learn even a small portion of his woodworking skills. My mother's father is a retired Air Force Colonal, who worked at the Pentagon. He also retired from the Virginia State Police. I'm always fascinated by his stories, and he's got plenty of them. Grandparents are great, they teach us how to get into mischief that we haven't even though of yet.
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