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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/2/2005 7:10:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 7:15:50 PM EDT by Red_Beard]
The thread from the guy with the sick granddad got me thinking.

Did your grandfathers live long enough for you to get to know them?

That my answer to that is no is one of my big regrets in life. My grandpa on my dad's side died when I was a baby, and the one on my mom's side when I was a young kid.

It sure would have been interesting to talk with them now that I'm older.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 7:14:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 7:16:08 PM EDT by Evil_Ed]

Grandpa Bucky (Mom's side) was a UDT trainer in WWII. He was pissed that he never left Roosy Roads, IIRC. (ETA: He died, heart attack, when I was 3 or 4 or so. Never got to know him. End ETA.)

Grandpa Charles (Dad's side)...well, he lived until I was a working stiff, around 22 or so. I never made the time to go and visit with him though. It gnaws on me. He was in the Old Hickory division in WWII; landed D+1 at Normandy.

I regret not being more with him I was just a dumb kid, what the hell did I know...
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 7:53:14 PM EDT

My paternal granddad lived until I was 10 and he was 78. We lived only a mile away so we were close.

My maternal granddad died about eleven years before I was born. I wish I had met him...he served as a cook in the pacific theater in WWII. That's the line where the majority of my American Indian blood comes from, through my Mom and her Dad.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 7:56:28 PM EDT

One served in Europe the other in the Pacific during WWII. Lot's of stories.

Love them both. One has passed on, the other is 83.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 7:57:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 8:14:02 PM EDT by CSM]
My grandparents(dads side) live the next field over. He is a great guy, a great Dad and Grandad. He needs to get a hobby though, retirement isn't good for some people.

He did recently give me a bunch of old USArmy patches from his Army flying days, 3rd army, army aviation, and a 101st airborne patch.

My last great-grandfather is dying now. I have his USN uniform from WW2. He stopped in Shanghai on his way home from Japan, he has some beautiful embroidery in the back flap of his sailor uniform. Sailed the pacific in the belly of a LST. Said those bow doors would move in and out as the waves hit them. Said "if those darn things woulda broke, nobody would have had time to get out."
They didn't load enough food for the pacific trip, they had to eat k-rations from the liferafts all the way over. He said that stuff wasn't fit for a dog!

Mom's side... Well, dont ask.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:00:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:05:00 PM EDT
Grandpa on my father's side died about three years ago. He was a fantastic artist, worked at Leo Burnett in Chicago for many, many years and was the guy who actually created Tony the Tiger (from frosted flakes). The original illustration is still in grandma's house.

My other grandpa lives about a hlaf block away on the other side of my apartment complex with good old Grandma. He was a Sgt. in the Engineers and has some incredible tales about his travels across Europe. He is slowly writing down his memoirs and mapping out where he was based on all the orders he saved- right now it is about 300 pages long. He met my grandmother because of the war (she was in the RAF as ground crew) and they moved back here with my Aunt shortly after she was born. Grandpa is senile when it comes to current stuff, but he can remeber all sorts of stuff about the war. Definitely a member of "The Greatest Generation."
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:06:34 PM EDT
Both my grandfathers died before I was born. One of my grandfathers served in WWI and I stll have his uniform. I would rather have him.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:10:23 PM EDT
Maternal grandpa is still alive, just saw him this weekend. He's slowing down some, but still the guy I know.

Paternal grandpa passed in 1990. Was a Pacific Theatre Marine, fought at Tarawa, fought and was wounded at Guadalcanal. I remember most of his stories, but I wish he were still here.. I think it would be cool to relate to him as an adult instead of as a kid.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:11:20 PM EDT
I was raised by my grandfather. The one person I looked up to the most. He was the only real parental unit I ever had, since my mother was always in and out of jail for drugs.

He passed away last year. I was stationed in Japan when he got sick, and it had been two years between the last time I saw him and his funeral. I couldnt afford to take leave and fly to see him at the time, and the last couple of times I called he was so sick that he did not recognize me and told he to never call again (thinking I was a telemarketer or something, due to the medication).

He was a retired Army Colonel, 1 tour in Korea, 2 tours in vietnam.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:13:28 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:13:55 PM EDT
Yes, one did. I am so greatful for it as his breed are disapearing fast. Of the school that you either killed or grew what you ate and made everything else. Those old guys were crafty! Like a walking survival manual.

I am also greatful that my father, in his remaing days lived with me and my family. Though dying, my girls were able to get to know him. so importatn.

Not long ago, kids learned alot from grandpa. Mine taught me how to hunt, fish, skin a deer with a pickup truck(never did work real well), work on cars etc. All this with my father at my side. I miss those days.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:16:52 PM EDT
I took care of my Grandfather until his last breath, which I saw.
That was my Dads Dad.

My Moms Mom, died with her head in my lap as the other Grandmother was performin CPR, I was 12.

I tempered me well.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:18:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 8:30:21 PM EDT by FLGreg]
Yes. My family lives a long time.

I was very fortunate to know both of my grandfathers.

Paternal GF was a grocery store owner with 4 young kids in WWII and served on the home front. He showed me is his "doughboy" Civil Defense helmet he wore on his rounds in the neighborhood. To hear about the air raids drills, the rationing and the blackout requirements even though they lived in the Midwest was riveting. I learned my love of the outdoors from him - hunting, stalking, and camping. He died about 15 years ago.

Maternal GF was an Army engineer in WWII and is still alive. He'll be 90 years old next year. Diabetes has taken one of his legs but he's still kicking. He was in the 2nd wave on D-Day and the stories of his unit’s fighting across France makes the Band of Brothers sound like a Disney movie. Remembering him telling me about him reliving those days stills gives me goosebumps.

I know a lot of people that never knew their grandfathers. The Greatest Generation are an invaluable source of history. You can read all the books about history but until you hear an oral history from someone who actually lived through it – it means nothing.

I actually learned more from my dad's dad than my mom's dad. It took a lot of coaxing from me to get my mom's dad to tell me about his combat experiences. I know there is alot he hasn't shared.

I was also fortunate to know one great-grandfather and both of my maternal great-grandmothers. To hear my mom's father's mother tell me about the Wright brother's first flight was amazing. One of my maternal GM's lived to be 100 and the other lived to be 105. Both were featured on Willard Scott’s weather report years ago.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:18:23 PM EDT
My GreatGrandfather died when I was 12 so I remember him well. My Grandfather turned 90 last December and I see him about twice a month so my kids who are 6, 14, & 16 know him well too.

Grandfathers are awesome. I'm going to miss mine when he's gone. Something fierce. Patty
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:20:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 8:23:11 PM EDT by chrome1]
I am the youngest child of two youngest children .
All my grandparents were dead 15-20 years before I was born
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:25:12 PM EDT
Paternal Grandfather was 60 when I was born. Lived maybe 8 months or so after that. Served with the KMT army through WWII. Surgeon. Grandma still tells stories about him. According to her and Dad, I'm the spitting image of Grandpa, right down to piss and vinegar.

Maternal Grandfather's still running a bookstore out here in CA. WWII was his childhood. Still has a lot of stories about life in post-'49 Taiwan.

See him and the two Grandmas at least once or twice a month.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:25:48 PM EDT
My mom's father was a B-17 co-pilot in WW2 and he died when I was 5 of a heart attack, never really got a chance to know him at all.

My dad's dad landed in Normandy on D-day and was wounded and was back in action in 3 days or so.

I've seen their medals and collections of stuff, it's impressive.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:26:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 8:29:12 PM EDT by twonami]
not really, my grandpa died only a liitle bit after I turned 20 and I was one of those moody teens.
I didn't really get a sense of what he did till I saw his collection of stuff when we cleaned out his room.
Among the finds are his photographs from WWII Europe, he was a mechanic and a old guy for a draftee, a bunch of certificates from all the mechanics schools he went to, letters, discharge papers, old bank books when he came home.
Damn I wished I spent more time with him. At least my oldest brother talked to him about stuff, things like how he married his wife in China in the 30's and had to leave her behind due to the restriction of Chinese immigration in the 19th and 20th century. He practically spent all his savings on getting our family into the US, We finally saw my grandpa in 65'.
His wife finally saw him in 1966. She passed in 82' and him in 84'. God I miss them
I'm gonna go cry for a while.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:38:20 PM EDT
I met all of my Grandparents. I met 3 of my Great Grandparents.
One Great Grandpa on my Dad's side was born in 1859, traveled to Texas in a Covered Wagon. ( I didn't get to meet him as he died before I was born.) I did meet his Wife, my Great Grandma, (she didn't have nice things to say about him)

A younger Great grandpa used to own a horse and buggy that he used to race down the Main Street with other young guys.

My Dad's Father used to hang out with Clyde and Buck Barrow in Oak Cliff, TX before they became major criminals on the run.

Lots of unpleasant stories. The south was a pretty rough place be in the 1920's and 30's.

Lots of smuggling across the border, fights, corruption.

Both of my Grandpa's were too old to serve in WWII. Though my Grandpa's youngest brother served as a tail gunner on a B-24.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:41:35 PM EDT
I got to know both my granddads. Grandpa Carrier or pop pop served in WWII, He was captured on D-day. Landed with the gliders assigned to the 101st. Waited out the war hoping the americans would liberate him and the other POW's before the Russians got to them. Went to Korea. He was in medical units and said in Korea they were not supposed to carry guns, no one in his unit followed the rules, said the Chinese and North Koreans did not care. He retired for the Army in 1970 a Bird Colonel. Worked a UMC hospital in Tucson until 1980, then retired for good, bought a trailer and truck and him and Grandma went on the road for a couple of months at a time. He died last year 6 months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 85.

My other grandpa was to old to go overseas during WWII, He guarded German prisoners here the states. Help set up the Boneyard here in Tucson. Prior to the Military he worked with RKO pictures in New York. He and grandma took several trips to Europe over the years. He was originally from Sweden, he and his parents immigrated in the early 1900's. He died last year 2 months after PopPop. I think he was 95 or 96.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:44:30 PM EDT
My Father's father died when I was three, my Mother's father left here this morning, short of him getting into an accident or soem such he will live long enough to meet his first great grandson. I only hope the grumpy old bastard lives long enough for his great grandson to get to know him

(My grandfather served in the great war, he reminds me of Emery on more than an occasional occasion )
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:45:51 PM EDT
Both my sets of grandparents died before I ever got to know them. Couple that with parents that refused to talk about their pasts, and you end up with a fairly, ah....incomplete family history.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:46:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 8:48:07 PM EDT by The_Macallan]

I never knew either of my grandfathers. Never met them. They both died before I was born.

My Dad's father, Leo, was a great man by my standards. He came to America by himself at 17. He arrived here on a ship on July 12, 1909 from Italy. Just a kid leaving his family, his home and his past behind to get on a ship and come to America for the hope of freedom and opportunity. His brother followed a year later. They came with almost NOTHING in their pocket and even his surname was changed by immigration who couldn't read his writing and didn't speak Italian.

He died a year before I was born. I only have two pictures of him and a couple stories. But the family tree he planted here in America has now grown to several hundred. Not one bad apple in the entire bunch either.

Four of his sons fought in WWII, another in Korea. Three Grandsons who fought in Viet Nam. His descendants include doctors, teachers, cops, autoworkers, city councilmen, firefighters, business-owners and many more hard-working Americans. And me too.

I realize that I won't be a "great" person in history; I'll never scale Everest, I won't discover a cure for cancer, I'll never go fight wars for my country, I'm not gonna be a millionaire, I won't become President or Governor and I may never even invent a better mousetrap.

But I do have a son.

And I can only hope he (and I) are as successful at planting a family tree as my Grandfather was when he stepped off the that ship by himself at Ellis Island 94 years ago.

I think of things like this when I see "Saving Private Ryan" - how one good person, though apparently insignificant, can have such profound significance in the grand scheme of things.

Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:51:04 PM EDT
Yes I did and they were both complete biggoted assholes who couldn't see any farther than the end of the nose on their head. In spite of the fine eulogies they were complete jerks, total wankers.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 8:56:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 8:57:47 PM EDT by Andreuha]
My mother's dad did (lead engineer at a Ukrainian jet-turbine plant, manages their design for a living. Has been racing sailboats since he was very young (and taught me how to sail!)).

My father's dad didn't (Involved with the Communist Party back in the USSR, died when I was two or so, I only remember seeing him once in my life [on his death-bed]).
Speaking of which, all the males down my lineage seem to have died young (my dad, his dad, his dad...)
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 9:12:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 9:16:23 PM EDT by CSM]

Originally Posted By CSM:
My grandparents(dads side) live the next field over. He is a great guy, a great Dad and Grandad. He needs to get a hobby though, retirement isn't good for some people.

He did recently give me a bunch of old USArmy patches from his Army flying days, 3rd army, army aviation, and a 101st airborne patch.

My last great-grandfather is dying now. I have his USN uniform from WW2. He stopped in Shanghai on his way home from Japan, he has some beautiful embroidery in the back flap of his sailor uniform. Sailed the pacific in the belly of a LST. Said those bow doors would move in and out as the waves hit them. Said "if those darn things woulda broke, nobody would have had time to get out."
They didn't load enough food for the pacific trip, they had to eat k-rations from the liferafts all the way over. He said that stuff wasn't fit for a dog!

Mom's side... Well, dont ask.

Here are some pics of the uniform.

If anybody knows what the eagle patch or the single stars mean, let me know.
Link Posted: 8/2/2005 9:29:16 PM EDT
I knew my grandfathers. I also knew 2 great grandfathers.

Sadly only 1 of each is left. My dads dad was in the Pacific on LST's. He had some good stories.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 1:21:21 AM EDT
Both of my Grandfathers died this year, one in January and the other in February, actually about two weeks apart. I was able to attend my maternal grandfather's funeral in January, but was unable to go to my other grandfather's funeral due to lack of money (he lived in Montana) and having already missed too many college classes. It was heartbreaking I wasn't able to be there.

My maternal grandfather was a man who enjoyed the simple things in life. He was born, lived, farmed and died in Franklin Minnesota and he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. He was a Merchant Marine during WWII, I can't remember the name of the ship he was on, but he had a painting of it in his office at his house. He loved baseball and passed the love of the game on to me. Being a die hard Twins fan and would yell at Tom Kelly through the TV that he wasn't managing the game right. I always found that entertaining when I was a kid.

I knew both of them very well, but I spent the most time with my grandparents in Montana. My grandpa loved airplanes of any type, probably because he served in the Air Force most of his life. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1939 and served in Africa, Sicily, and Italy with the Fifth Army Air Corps. In his spare time he loved building models of fighter planes. He had a shelf at the end of his hallway with all of the models he had built on it. When I was little and was visiting him I had to run down the hall and marvel at all the planes. When my dad helped my grandparents move into an assisted living apartment about five years ago they couldn't bring everything as the apartment was not as large as their house, so my grandpa gave my brother and I his models. My most cherished is a P-40 Warhawk with the shark teeth. Some of my fondest memories are staying with my grandparents in their A-Frame cabin on the Missouri river.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:18:22 AM EDT
Grandfather on my fathers side died when I was 12. He was an engineer at the steel plant in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada during WW II. Also worked as an architect on the side. His hobby was electronics. He had to have the latest in Hi-Fi gear. There are many Heathkit projects he built tucked in attics of family members. (I'm currently working on giving life to and old tube amplifier he built to be used as a guitar amp.) He would have been amazed with computers. I expect he would have been one of the few old people to feel quite comfortable with them.

Grandfather on my mothers side (Opa) lived in the Netherlands. He died when I was 14. During WW II he was an engineer in the marchant marine, sailing oil tankers from Venezuela to England. He left holland when my mother was 2 and didn't return until she was 8. Needless to say... My mom and her dad were not very close while she was very close to her mother. We vistited them once every 3 years and they visited us in the U.S. every 3 years. I didn't know him very well having spent only a few months of time with him over 14 years. He smoked cigars and used the wood from cigar boxes to make some incredible models of ships and traditional Dutch wagons and carts.

Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:28:07 AM EDT
My maternal grandfather died when I was 8. I am the only grandchild to really remember him. I have an audeotape of him and my great-grandmother talking that I have converted to CD. If I ever have a male child, I intend to name him the same.

My paternal grandfather died a few weeks ago. I posted about it in Team. He was a WWII navy veteran, and I have a DVD of his Veteran's History Project interview.

If yours are still alive, dont wait to talk to them. Videotape it if possible. Preserve a record of them for your children and grandchildren.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:29:35 AM EDT
Maternal grandfather died when my mom was 12. All I have is pictures and the stories.

Paternal grandfather is still living at the ripe age of 91. He's failing in health now. He has been restricted by the family on his driving, hospice is coming in 2x's a week now to help his congestive heart failure. The boys are looking at nursing home placement soon. I love grandpa dearly and I can't say how much it hurts to see the strong vibrant man I used to know, turned into a frail, skin and bones man.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:39:16 AM EDT
Never had any grandparents
My moms mom/dad abused her as a child (badly)so we were never allowed to know them. My only memory of him is my dad kicking his ass.

My dad was dropped off at orphanage with no info about family. So no one on his side either.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 5:39:33 AM EDT
Yes, he did.

Seeing how my father bailed on me when I was two, my Gramps was the only "father figure" in my life growing up.

He passed away in 1983, the week of my 35th birthday.

I miss him.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:13:41 AM EDT
My dad's dad passed when I was about 14 (1972) at the age of 72. He was a retired boiler maker at Wickes in Saginaw MI & a WWI vet. He spent his retirement years sitting on the front porch watching life go by & feeding the squirrels. Afternoons were spent at Roy's Steak House on Court St. He sat at the same bar stool EVERYDAY. If someone else was on it when he arrived, he'd lear at them without saying a word until they moved. Grandpa was a pretty big fella for the time. He rarely traveled more than a mile or two from home. When I was very young he came out to our house once. That was a 7 mile ride in a car. Later we'd moved farther into the country, he never came out to that house.

My mom's dad....huh....I think I met him about twice. Bad blood there...mom almost never speaks of him & has nothing good to say about him. I know little about him.

I don't perceive not having a relationship with them as some sort of loss. Ya can't lose something ya never had.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:27:43 AM EDT
Yes, thanks be to God. We were respectively 39 and 86 when he passed. I made the last meal he ever ate. Me and my uncle, brother, and cousin washed his body. We hand-carried his coffin, and took shovels to the graveyard and buried him ourselves - though we let the backhoe dig the hole. A little about him is found in this post.

I can only imagine what kind of POS I'd be had it not been for him.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:29:49 AM EDT
my grandparents (both sets) raised me. I owe everything I am and everything I have to them.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 7:41:20 AM EDT
My Grandfather on my Dad's side died shortly after I was born so I never knew him. My grandfather on my Mom's side was a police sergeant in the town I grew up in ( I still hear good/funny stories about him from folks older than me around town), he wasnt allowed to join the military in WWII because he was a shift supervisor at an aircraft manufacturing plant here in michigan. I think it was Willow Run (Liberators?)

My Greatgrandfather "dee-dee" served in WWI. France and Siberia. My Greatgrandmother told me he had been gassed in france and the severe cold of Siberia always caused him breathing problems ( cigars probably didnt help much either).

These arent "grandfather" stories, but I gotta stick them in here anyway.

Uncle Mick did Korea ( some good Chosin Res. Stories) and an Uncle Junior that was a quartermaster in Italy, and drove the "Red Ball Express" in France, Belgium, and Germany ( no good stories from Junior, he hated talking about it). When he passed he left me his 1897 French revolver and an Astra automatic that he had taken off of German pow's. Both my Aunt's were "rosy the riveter", they built tank destroyers for Buick in WWII.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 9:48:19 AM EDT
never met either of my dad's parents, they died when he was young and as for my mom's side, I knew my grandmother quite well, but never met my grandpa, he died when my mom was 14yrs.
Link Posted: 8/3/2005 10:00:43 AM EDT
both died before I was born....they had rough lives.

My Mom's dad died when she was 4 or 5.

Being an Ironworker in the 30/40's will do that to you. Here's a pic:

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