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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

Images provided by P&G

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Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

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Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

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Joy

'90s kid shares the 10 lies that everyone's parent told them

"Don't swallow that gum. If you do, it'll take 7 years to come out."

via 90sKidforLife/TikTok (used with permission)

90sKidforLife shares 10 lies everyone's parents told in the era.


Children believe everything their parents tell them. So when parents lie to prevent their kids to stop them from doing something dumb, the mistruth can take on a life of its own. The lie can get passed on from generation to generation until it becomes a zombie lie that has a life of its own.

Justin, known as 90sKidforLife on TikTok and Instagram, put together a list of 10 lies that parents told their kids in the ‘90s, and the Gen X kids in the comments thought it was spot on.


“Why was I told EVERY ONE of these?” Brittany, the most popular commenter, wrote. “I heard all of these plus the classic ‘If you keep making that face, it will get stuck like that,’” Amanda added. After just four days of being posted, it has already been seen 250,000 times.

Parents were always lying #90s #90skids #parenting

@90skid4lyfe

Parents were always lying #90s #90skids #parenting

Here are Justin’s 10 lies '90s parents told their kids:

1. "You can't drink coffee. It'll stunt your growth."

2. "If you pee in the pool, it's gonna turn blue."

3. "Chocolate milk comes from brown cows."

4. "If you eat those watermelon seeds, you'll grow a watermelon in your stomach."

5. "Don't swallow that gum. If you do, it'll take 7 years to come out."

6. "I told you we can't drive with the interior light on. ... It's illegal."

7. "Sitting that close to the TV is going to ruin your vision."

8. "If you keep cracking your knuckles, you're gonna get arthritis."

8. "You just ate, you gotta wait 30 minutes before you can swim."

10. "If you get a tattoo, you won't find a job."

Internet

Lawyer explains how and why she refuses to sign waivers of liability forms for her child

"I do not waive my child's rights when it comes to liability or catastrophic events."

Representative photos by RDNE Stock Project and João Rabelo via Canva

Lawyer refuses to sign waivers of liability for her child

Every parent is familiar with the standard liability waiver for children to do just about anything. Going on a school field trip, sign a liability waiver. Playing a sport, sign a liability waiver. Going to a birthday party at a trampoline park–you got it, sign a liability waiver. The form is so common that parents often sign it without thinking about what they're actually signing.

The assumption is that if you don't sign the form, whoever "they" are will know and your kid will be left out of whatever activity they wanted to do. But do you actually have to sign those things? Shannon Schott a mom, criminal defense and personal injury attorney says declining is an option.

The attorney took to TikTok to explain how she gets around signing the liability forms for her child and it's much simpler than one might think. According to Schott, she's never been questioned when she simply crosses out the things she doesn't agree with and writes decline next to that particular section. No secret liability waiver police jump out from behind the nearest bush, and her reasoning is quite simple.


Blindly signing on the dotted line essentially waives your child's rights to take legal action if an accident occurs that severely injures, maims or kills your child, Schott explains. The mom tells her audience that as a lawyer who handles personal injury, she would never agree to sign away the option to sue, reminding others that liability waivers are a mutual agreement. Keeping this in mind she only signs what she's comfortable with.

"First and foremost if people are not paying attention, I just don't do it. If someone says you have to go online and sign a waiver I say, 'okay thanks' and I don't do it and no one checks and that's not on me. That's me being smart and not waiving my child's rights," Schott reveals, immediately clarifying that she and her family are safe and not trying to trick someone into a lawsuit.

While many people didn't realize that you had the option to decline, some did and explained how they do it in the comments.

"On my first day of torts, my professor taught us to cross out all of the negligence/death clauses. 10 years later with 2 kids, I've never been questioned (no one noticed)," someone writes.

"I always wrote, 'unless under negligence.' No one ever rechecked my signature," another says.

"I always do this!! My mom did it when we were kids so it became a habit," one commenter shares.

@shannonschott.esq #jaxfl #jaxlawyer #floridalawyer #juvenilejustice #juveniledelinquency #juvenilelawexpert #personalinjury #personalinjurylawyer #personalinjuryattorney #personalinjurylaw #personalinjurytips #personalinjurylawyers #personalinjurylawyerflorida ♬ original sound - Shannon Schott

Schott makes it clear in her video that while she is particular about arbitrarily signing her child's rights away, she's not looking for litigation and she's fine with having her child sit out of an activity if needed. The attorney also reassures a commenter that parents always have the right to revoke a waiver and ask for a new form if they've signed thinking they didn't have a choice. Parents are thanking her for the information with some admitting they need to take a closer look at those forms in the future.

Steve Martin's 2000 novella, "Shopgirl."


Over the past few years, book bans have been happening in public libraries and schools across America. In the 2022-2023 school year alone, over 3,300 books were banned in 182 school districts in 37 states.

Most books that have been banned deal with LGBTQ and racial themes. According to a report from PEN America, Florida has been the most aggressive state regarding book bans, accounting for about 40% of those taken off the shelves.

On November 5, Collier County, Florida, announced that it was banning 300 books from its school libraries out of an effort to comply with state law HB 1069, which says books that depict or describe “sexual content” can be challenged for removal.


Among the books banned by the school district was “Shopgirl,” a novella by author Steve Martin published in 2000. Martin is also the star of the hit Hulu show, “Only Murders in the Building,” featuring Martin Short and Selena Gomez.

Upon hearing about his book being banned, Martin responded with his iconic wit on Instagram, saying, “So proud to have my book Shopgirl banned in Collier County, Florida! Now, people who want to read it will have to buy a copy!"

“Shopgirl” is a story about a young woman who works in a luxury department store and has an affair with a wealthy older man. It was made into a movie in 2005 starring Claire Danes and Martin. It’s believed the book was banned for its mild sexual content. On Amazon, the book is recommended for readers ages 13 and up.


This article originally appeared on 11.11.23

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash (left) and Dan Renco on Unsplash (right)

The staring is part of the competition.

A video of kids waving a narrow rod in front of a pig while hunching like Dracula and giving someone a death stare has taken the internet by storm, leaving people scratching their heads.

"What did I just watch?" seems to be the primary response to the video shared on the @dadsonfarms TikTok page, followed by various versions of "Where am I?" and "What is happening?" and "How did I end up here?"

The befuddlement is only matched by the curiosity and confused laughter that naturally result from seeing something so…unbelievable? Unexpected? Unusual? Uncanny?


How else should one describe this?

@dadsonfarms

Krew and Karis at The Revival livestock Show! #showpigs #pigshow

"This is the weirdest thing 😂😂🤣 I have so many questions!!!" wrote one person.

"Why do I feel like this is a staring competition and the pigs are just a added difficulty 🤣," wrote another.

"Yay!!! I’m back on hunchback death stare competition while also showing pigs tiktok!" exclaimed another.

"Again. What did I react to, to end me up here?" asked another.

If you've ever stepped foot in the world of 4-H or FFA (Future Farmers of America), you likely recognize there's a livestock showing competition happening here. But if you're a city slicker with no rural or agricultural ties, you may not know that "showing" animals is even a thing.

Not only it it a thing, but it's a highly competitive endeavor with specific rules and guidelines and expectations. It does help to have the showmanship requirements explained, however, and thankfully the kids' dad explained in a separate video.

The kids showcased here are Karis and Krew, twins who compete in the 13 to 16-year-old category of pig showing. The pigs are Smack Down and Greta. The reason the competitors stare so intently is to show they are paying attention to the judge and also to show how much control they have. (And according to one commenter, they get extra points for keeping eye contact with the judge the whole time.)

More questions answered here:

@dadsonfarms

@Lawrence Johnson I tried to answer all your Questions about showing Pigs 😊! #showpigs #pigshow

People have been fascinated to learn about how much goes into these exhibitions. Who knew pig showing was this intense? And with judges being flown across the country—there's an official Livestock Judges' Association and everything—this is clearly serious business.

Except when you add the music to it, it just comes off as seriously strange hilarity.

@dadsonfarms

Great night to show at western regionals #showpigs #hogshowman

So what exactly is the point of all of this?

When livestock showing began in the 1800s, the primary purpose was to improve the quality of livestock. These days, it's more about helping young people developing character qualities through programs like 4-H and FFA while learning about farm animal care and preparation for selling. They learn about responsibility, self-discipline, hard work and professionalism through these competitions.

And they clearly master making eye contact as well. You can follow @dadsonfarms on TikTok for more.

Palestinian and Israeli whose family members were killed sit face-to-face to talk peace

One man lost his parents. The other lost his brother. Their dialogue is moving people to tears.

Photos by cottonbro studio/Pexels (left), and by Ahmed Abu Hameeda on Unsplash (right)

Hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians

Conflict between Israel and Palestine has been ongoing for many decades, with scholars around the world spending years analyzing and explaining why and how. But regardless of how we got here, the violence we saw perpetrated on Israelis on October 7th and the violence we've seen perpetrated on Palestinians in the months since has been a drastic escalation with unspeakably tragic results.

People of goodwill everywhere search for hope in times such as these, for evidence that humanity hasn't been completely destroyed by vengeance and violence, that real peace is in fact possible. And there is no better pair to offer glimmers of such hope than Palestinian peacemaker Aziz Abu Sarah and Israeli peacemaker Maoz Inon, who sat down face-to-face on a TED stage in April of 2024 to share their personal stories and talk about what peace requires.

Unlike those of us watching war unfold from half a world away through the lens of media spin and social media algorithms, these men have lived this conflict up close. Sarah's brother was killed by the Israeli Defense Forces when he was just 19 years old. Inon's parents were killed by Hamas on the October 7th, 2023 attack. They both have every reason to be angry—and they are—but the way they purposefully process their anger into peacebuilding is an example to us all.


Inon begins their conversation by sharing how his parents and childhood friends were killed on October 7th, then shares how grateful he was that Sarah was one of the first people to reach out to him even though they'd only met once before. Sarah shares how his brother was killed by the IDF and how all of his friends have lost family members to Israel's bombardment of Gaza, yet praises how he Inon has processed his loss.

"When I sent you that message to offer my condolences after your parents were killed, I was surprised by your answer," Sarah told Inon. "Not just to me, but your public answer. Because you said you're not only crying for your parents, you're also crying for the people in Gaza who are losing their lives, and that you do not want what happened to you to be justifying anyone taking revenge. You do not want to justify war."

"And it's so hard to do that," he added. "So much easier to want revenge, to be angry. But you are a brave man."

Sarah said it took him "much more time" to reach such a place after his brother was killed. "I was angry, I was bitter, and I wanted vengeance. I was 10 years old and I thought there is no other choice. And only eight years later, when I went to study Hebrew with Jewish immigrants to Israel, that's only when I realized that we can be allies."

Both men have been peace activists for years. What's particularly beautiful about their conversation is that they are talking directly to each other, not to the audience, offering an example of what sitting down with the "other side" can look like when you share the goal of peace. They tell their personal stories and explain what has driven them to seek reconciliation over revenge. They listen to and learn from one another. They acknowledge the difficulty but are unwavering in their dedication to build peace.

The division stemming from the historical reality and current politics of Israel and Palestine may feel intractable, but if these men who have lost so much can find common ground and a shared vision, then hope remains. Their dialogue is moving people to tears and is well worth a watch: