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People share unforgettable stories told by their grandparents, and some are just insane

These grandparents truly lived.

stories from grandparents reddit

When your grandpa's a BAMF.

It can be eye-opening to listen to stories told by our grandparents. For many of us, that might be the only connection we have to them.

Even the smallest glimpse into their former lives gives us insight–not only into their own personal history, but into the soul of a different era entirely. Of course, whether that inspires nostalgia or disgust depends on the story.

I, for instance, know next-to-nothing about my maternal grandfather, other than he used his job at a candy factory to cover the fact that he was in cahoots with an Asian mob. An odd thing to know about your grandfather, and I’ll never look at M&M’s the same way again.

stories from grandparentsGiphy

A Reddit user named LorieEve recently asked people to share stories from their own grandparents that they’d “never forget.” Some answers are short and simple. Others read like a sprawling novel. Some are hilarious; others heartbreaking. All offer a meaningful look into the past.

Here are 10 of the best responses:


1.

My grandfather was one of the earliest people to receive penicillin. His GP freaked out when he had a handwritten note from Alexander Fleming.” – melodicmusical

2.

"My grandpa worked in a steel mill in Ohio during the 50s and 60s and he was robbed at gunpoint in the basement of said mill when he looked him in the eyes and said ‘nice gun, but mine’s bigger’ needless to say he was not robbed.

He was also launched out of a third story window and landed in a dumpster from a propane explosion. He had suffered 3rd degree burns and drove the other 3 people involved to the hospital where they received proper care. His scars are covered by his beard.

He was also involved in a helicopter crash that destroyed his back so he can no longer sit down very well. He also survived an airplane crash in the 50s when 3 out of the 4 engines lost power and caught fire. It was a military aircraft that had been repurposed after the war.

In the 60s he was involved in a car accident caused by 2 people who had just robbed a bank. He then helped the police chase them down in his partially destroyed car because he wanted insurance information.

There was also the time that his senile grandfather shot him in his back with a shotgun but luckily he was far enough away that the pellets didn't penetrate very far.

In short, some of his stories may be made up, or my he's literally John Wick.” – that_one_nerd470

3.

My grandmother's brother was drafted in the Army and was sent to fight in the Korean War. He ended up in the 2nd Infantry Division. His division was caught in The Gauntlet and he didn’t make it back home. To this day, he is still unaccounted for.

Well, the day he left home the last time, my grandma went with him to the train station. She told me that the last thing he ever said to her was, ‘at least I made it back home for a home cooked meal before I left.’

She was probably well into her 70s when she told me that story. It still brought tears to her eyes.” – slider728

4.

My grandparents and all my relatives of that generation fled Germany after my great-grandfather was taken to a work camp.

My grandmother's most haunting story:

She was about 14, walking with a boy in their town square. She had blonde hair and would definitely 'pass' for Aryan. He apparently fit what the SS thought of as a Jew (he may have been wearing a yarmulke or other garment, I never knew that part.) The officers stopped them and grabbed him, told him to stay away from Aryan girls. He tried to say something, but didn't get to before they handcuffed him and dragged him away. They wished my grandmother goodnight and she never saw him again.” – DTownForever

5.

My grandmother's family fled for their lives from Austria to the USA. Her father had been an outspoken political opponent of Adolf Hitler, and helped organize an anti-Nazi resistance in his hometown. Then Hitler invaded Austria, and somebody was kind enough to tip my great-grandpa off that his name was on a list to get shipped off to the concentration camps.

My grandmother barely remembered Austria or the move to New York City. But she never forgot a year or so later walking into a store with her father one day, only to have the shopkeeper curse him out and refuse to serve him as soon as he opened his mouth and spoke with a German accent. That incident made a deep impression on her. She credited it with teaching her quickly…just how shitty prejudice can be, especially in times of war.

She never taught any of her children her native language. An enormous number of German-Americans lost or refused to pass on their heritage language during WWII, because that wasn't a great time to be visibly German in any way in the USA.” – hononononnoh

6.

My grandfather was a kid during the Great Depression. He once told me they had raccoon one year for a special Christmas dinner.” – FlokiTrainer

7.

This one's more lighthearted than most.

Both of my grandparents grew up in South Africa, and dated throughout high school. Just as they're getting ready to graduate, Ouma's father decided to move the whole family to the US. Totally heartbroken, Ouma broke up with Oupa a week before the departure, then spent the next few days bawling her eyes out in between packing. To her surprise Oupa had 'taken the news way too well'.

On the day of the departure Ouma and her family arrive to find Oupa waiting on the dock for them. Ouma figured he was there to see them off, until she realizes that the suitcases all around his feet are his. And when he went to greet them he was holding a letter from his parents for her parents, a ticket for their ship, and an engagement ring. Turns out that man had looked so calm during the breakup because he'd already been planning on going across the ocean for her.

They're up in their eighties and still together now.” – Anxious_Cap51

8.

When my grandpa was 9 ish him and his friends were playing by the train tracks as people in their generation did. Him and his friends convinced a 4 year old who was playing with them at the time to get on a random train carriage where they then closed the door and told him he was going to Blackpool, he tried to frantically unlock the door but was too small to reach the lock.

He recalls watching this little boy's face as the train pulled off from the station.

After an hour the boy's mother asked them all where her son was where they just said ‘oh he's off to Blackpool.’ Luckily at the next train station a train conductor found the little boy and took him back on the next train.” – Remarkable-Ad-1107

9.

My grandfather was quite the badass when he was younger, lots of stories I remember from him, but I’ve gotta share this story:

Context, I’m a second gen Canadian which makes my grandparents the ones who immigrated. They immigrated from the Netherlands, which is popular for their culture, food, and of course beer.

When he immigrated to Canada, he knew some English but not much...There was a man who greeted my grandfather which I don’t remember how or when, but regardless, they got to talking and the man asked my grandfather to ‘go for a beer’. And in Holland when you're asked to go for a beer, it means go to the bar and go get a beer.

Note this was the late 60’s in Canada, and A&W was beginning to be popular. My grandfather of course agrees, to get to know more people around where he was going to live. The man brings my grandfather to A&W, for a root beer and a burger, so he was confused out of his mind not being able to speak a word of English in this new country, and trying to learn the culture. My grandfather then learned he hated root beer. He still has contact with the A&W man.” – I-am-johan

10.

My grandfather was a veteran of WWII, and one of the toughest but kindest people I ever had the honor of knowing.

One story from his military service he enjoyed sharing was his issues with driving on base. He was pulling up to his DI’s office, and went for a soft brake and park. Instead, due to how close the brake and gas pedals were in the truck he was driving, he hit the gas, and crashed into his DI’s office, stopping right at his desk.

While his DI stood there in shock and likely anger, my grandfather got out of the truck and just said hi. To which his DI responded ‘Hi? HI?! WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!’

I miss my grandfather every day, and if there is a heaven, I hope he’s staying away from those trucks.” – SuburbanDJ

Island School Class, circa 1970s.

Parents, do you think your child would be able to survive if they were transported back to the '70s or '80s? Could they live at a time before the digital revolution put a huge chunk of our lives online?

These days, everyone has a phone in their pocket, but before then, if you were in public and needed to call someone, you used a pay phone. Can you remember the last time you stuck 50 cents into one and grabbed the grubby handset?

According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, roughly 100,000 pay phones remain in the U.S., down from 2 million in 1999.

Do you think a 10-year-old kid would have any idea how to use a payphone in 2022? Would they be able to use a Thomas Guide map to find out how to get somewhere? If they stepped into a time warp and wound up in 1975, could they throw a Led Zeppelin album on the record player at a party?


Another big difference between now and life in the '70s and '80s has been public attitudes toward smoking cigarettes. In 1965, 42.4% of Americans smoked and now, it’s just 12.5%. This sea change in public opinion about smoking means there are fewer places where smoking is deemed acceptable.

But in the early '80s, you could smoke on a bus, on a plane, in a movie theater, in restaurants, in the classroom and even in hospitals. How would a child of today react if their third grade teacher lit up a heater in the middle of math class?

Dan Wuori, senior director of early learning at the Hunt Institute, tweeted that his high school had a smoking area “for the kids.” He then asked his followers to share “something you experienced as a kid that would blow your children’s minds.”


A lot of folks responded with stories of how ubiquitous smoking was when they were in school. While others explained that life was perilous for a kid, whether it was the school playground equipment or questionable car seats.

Here are a few responses that’ll show today’s kids just how crazy life used to be in the '70s and '80s.

First of all, let’s talk about smoking.

Want to call someone? Need to get picked up from baseball practice? You can’t text mom or dad, you’ll have to grab a quarter and use a pay phone.

People had little regard for their kids’ safety or health.

You could buy a soda in school.

Things were a lot different before the internet.

Remember pen pals?

A lot of people bemoan the fact that the children of today aren’t as tough as they were a few decades back. But that’s probably because the parents of today are better attuned to their kids’ needs so they don't have to cheat death to make it through the day.

But just imagine how easy parenting would be if all you had to do was throw your kids a bag of Doritos and a Coke for lunch and you never worried about strapping them into a car seat?


This article originally appeared on 06.08.22

Parenting

Mom creates a stir after refusing to drop her child off at a parent free birthday party

"I loved drop off parties. I didn't want to sit at some kids party."

Photos by Ivan Samkov and Gustavo Fring|Canva

Mom refuses to let kid go to "drop-off" birthday party

There are many Millennial moms that were raised on "Unsolved Mysteries" and "America's Most Wanted" during formative years, which may or may not have influenced the way they parent. It can be hard to think clearly when Robert Stack's voice is echoing in your head every time your child is out of eyesight. The jokes about what is responsible for the average Millennial's parenting style resembling more like a helicopter are endless. But sometimes additional caution is warranted where others may find it unnecessary.

At least that's what many folks on the internet believe after one mom seemingly split parents into two camps with her revelation about children's parties. Liv, who goes by the TikTok handle Liv SAHM, takes to social media to explain that her seven-year-old son was invited to a birthday party but when she went to RSVP, she noticed the invitation said, "drop off only."

The mom explains, "It's at someone's house. I don't know these parents. I don't know that there's actually going to be other adults besides this child's parents."


Liv states that she would not be dropping her young child off alone with strangers. To many parents this seems like a reasonable response. If you don't know the parents or any other adults then how can you ensure your child will be safe. Other parents felt like Liv was completely overreacting with a helicopter parenting style.

"Little kids have been going to peoples birthday parties without clingy parents for decades," one person declares.

"I'm a drop off kinda house. I want the parents to leave that is one less person I have to feed. I don't wanna have to make small talk with other parents," another says.

"That's a big no for me too! And I always try to take my kids to classmates parties because people never show up," someone writes.

"That's so worrisome. I completely agree with you mama bear, same with my son," a commenter says.

"Yeah, that would make me uncomfortable too! It's always a little interesting to me when parents drop off their kids at parties," someone else adds.

@livsahm

No thank you! I don’t feel comfortable with that. #mom #momsoftiktok #momlife #sahm #sahmlife #birthday #birthdayparty #celebration #controversial #parenting #parentingtips #parents #no

There's no right or wrong way to throw a party for a kid because there's no rulebook. Generally parents are accustomed to seeing invitations that say no siblings or the offer of parents staying or leaving. Many commenters pointed out that it seemed odd that the invitation was worded in a way that sounded like parents staying wasn't an option.

Some parents noted that the world has changed since they were children and wouldn't feel safe dropping their kids off either. Others found no issue with it and think fellow parents are overreacting. What do you say, odd or perfectly fine?

via Pixabay

A sad-looking Labrador Retriever

The sweet-faced, loveable Labrador Retriever is no longer America’s favorite dog breed. The breed best known for having a heart of gold has been replaced by the smaller, more urban-friendly French Bulldog.

According to the American Kennel Club, for the past 31 years, the Labrador Retriever was America’s favorite dog, but it was eclipsed in 2022 by the Frenchie. The rankings are based on nearly 716,500 dogs newly registered in 2022, of which about 1 in 7 were Frenchies. Around 108,000 French Bulldogs were recorded in the U.S. in 2022, surpassing Labrador Retrievers by over 21,000.


The French Bulldog’s popularity has grown exponentially over the past decade. They were the #14 most popular breed in 2012, and since then, registrations have gone up 1,000%, bringing them to the top of the breed popularity rankings.

The AKC says that the American Hairless Terrier, Gordon Setter, Italian Greyhound and Anatolian Shepherd Dog also grew in popularity between 2021 and 2022.

The French Bulldog was famous among America’s upper class around the turn of the 20th century but then fell out of favor. Their resurgence is partly based on several celebrities who have gone public with their Frenchie love. Leonardo DiCaprio, Megan Thee Stallion, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Reese Witherspoon and Lady Gaga all own French Bulldogs.

The breed earned a lot of attention as show dogs last year when a Frenchie named Winston took second place at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and first in the National Dog Show.

The breed made national news in early 2021 when Gaga’s dog walker was shot in the chest while walking two of her Frenchies in a dog heist. He recovered from his injuries, and the dogs were later returned.

They’ve also become popular because of their unique look and personalities.

“They’re comical, friendly, loving little dogs,” French Bull Dog Club of America spokesperson Patty Sosa told the AP. She said they are city-friendly with modest grooming needs and “they offer a lot in a small package.”

They are also popular with people who live in apartments. According to the AKC, Frenchies don’t bark much and do not require a lot of outdoor exercise.

The French Bulldog stands out among other breeds because it looks like a miniature bulldog but has large, expressive bat-like ears that are its trademark feature. However, their popularity isn’t without controversy. “French bulldogs can be a polarizing topic,” veterinarian Dr. Carrie Stefaniak told the AP.

american kennel club, french bulldog, most popular dog

An adorable French Bulldog

via Pixabay

French Bulldogs have been bred to have abnormally large heads, which means that large litters usually need to be delivered by C-section, an expensive procedure that can be dangerous for the mother. They are also prone to multiple health problems, including skin, ear, and eye infections. Their flat face means they often suffer from respiratory problems and heat intolerance.

Frenchies are also more prone to spine deformations and nerve pain as they age.

Here are the AKC’s top ten most popular dog breeds for 2022.

1 French Bulldogs

2 Labrador Retrievers

3 Golden Retrievers

4 German Shepherd Dogs

5 Poodles

6 Bulldogs

7 Rottweilers

8 Beagles

9 Dachshunds

10 German Shorthaired Pointers


This article originally appeared on 03.17.23

Family

Dad shares what happens when you give your child books instead of a smartphone

The key to fostering healthy habits in children is to be wholly present and reject the “pressures of convenience”

via Armando Hart (used with permission)

Armando Hart and his son, Raya.

One of the most pressing dilemmas for parents these days is how much screen time they should allow their children. Research published by the Mayo Clinic shows that excessive screen time can lead to obesity, disrupted sleep, behavioral issues, poor academic performance, exposure to violence and a significant reduction in playtime.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting screen time to 1 to 2 hours daily for children over 2. But American children spend far more time in front of screens than that and the situation is only worsening.

Before the pandemic, kids between the ages of 4 and 12 spent an average of 4.4 hours a day looking at screens, but since 2020, the average child’s daily screen time has increased by 1.75 hours.


A father in Long Beach, California, is getting some love for his TikTok video sharing what happens when you give your kid books instead of an iPhone. Armando Hart posted a video showing his 10-year-old son, Raya, reading a book in the back of a car and it’s been seen over 8 million times.

"Give them books instead of phones when they are little and this is the result," the caption reads. "Thank me later."

We’re so blessed with our son Raya. I think he’s read more books than I have.

@lifeinmotion08

We’re so blessed with our son Raya. I think he’s read more books than I have. #Books #Read #Fyp

Hart and his wife started reading to their son every night before bedtime, hoping to instill a love for books. "It was all about leading by example and creating a nurturing environment where reading was celebrated," Hart told Newsweek. These days, Raya is an avid reader who enjoys just about anything.

“My son likes novels, fiction, nonfiction, and realistic fiction,” Hart told Upworthy. “He also likes informative content, such as reading the almanac and other informative magazines. He loves to build, cook from recipes, and make art.”

For Hart, reading is all about creating a sense of balance in his son’s life.

“It's not about being against technology but about fostering a balanced approach that prioritizes meaningful experiences and hands-on learning,” he told Upworthy. “By instilling a love for reading, creativity, and exploration early on, we're equipping Raya with the skills and mindset he needs to thrive in an ever-changing world.”

Hart believes that the screen time discussion isn’t just about technology but a trend that goes deeper. “It speaks to a broader societal problem: our youth's lack of self-esteem, confidence and fundamental values. While screen time may exacerbate these issues, it is not the sole cause,” he told Upworthy.

“In contrast, physical activity, such as exercise, promotes joy and well-being. Spending hours scrolling on a phone can detract from genuine moments of happiness and fulfillment,” he continued. “Therefore, we must address the deeper underlying issues affecting our youth's mental and emotional health rather than solely attributing them to screen time.”

Hart believes the key to fostering healthy habits in children is to be wholly present and reject the “pressures of convenience” that encourage parental complacency.

“We prioritize quality time together, whether exploring nature, sharing meals with the best available foods, or engaging in meaningful conversations. In today's rapidly advancing technological world, staying grounded in our humanity and embodying integrity in everything we do is crucial,” he continued. “This means staying connected to our authentic selves and teaching our son the importance of honesty, kindness, and respect.”

Joy

Watch as this couple experiences a lifetime together in a single day

Watch a couple age a lifetime together in a single day.

Couple prepares for their physical transformations.

In this super-cool video from Field Day and Cut Video, a young engaged couple is given a rare opportunity to see how they might look 30, 50, and 70 years in the future. With the help of some seriously talented makeup artists, the couple ages before each other's eyes.

But, it's the deep emotional impact of imagining a life shared together that is far more striking than their physical transformation.


Their love seems to strengthen as they see each other age, and the caring they display for one another is likely to make even the most cynical person a little emotional.

This article originally appeared on 05.15.15