Question of the Week: What's a favorite story you have of a paternal ancestor?

+20 votes

imageDo you have a family story about a father or an ancestor on your father's side? Or a paternal ancestor you particularly admire?

Tell us about it with an answer below! You could also answer on Facebook or share the question image with friends and family on social media to get them talking.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
My grandfather was a character.  

At age 8 he rode his bike from Worcester MA to New York.

At age 16 he lied about his age to join the Navy in WWII

After returning from a dangerous mission shooting down kamakazi planes they set dock in San Diego CA.

Men were scarce and his cousin needed a date for a dance.  In his infinite teenaged wisdom he jumped ship, going AWOL to take her.

When he got back near the base he jumped in ocean, showed up at the front gate and told them he had fallen overboard.  They believed him.

He straighten out in his older years.  Became the most devoted family man you'd ever seen.
Hello—I’m curious.  Did everybody get the same picture of the man with the pipe, or just me because he’s my dad?  It was a little startling to see his face pop up on Wednesday, but good too. I imagine you have the ability to send members photos of their dads if they are in their profiles.  But if everyone did get it, daddy would have been pleased.  It’s my favorite picture of him.  And Wiki says Elvis is his 8th cousin, and also related by marriage on all sides.  He looks a little like Elvis, no?  Happy Father’s Day, dad!
M Wade,

Your father’s photo indeed was featured. It’s a great picture!

41 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer
I and several other children contracted Polio in the fifties, the disease seemed  to move through country towns in NSW, and there was no treatment.  We were put in ‘isolation’ which was a  first floor sleep-out  with louvred walls.  

My father would bring a ladder,  climb up  and pass ice creams to we children and we were delighted.  If the medical staff knew what he was up to, I don’t know, but it is possible.
by Isabelle Archer G2G1 (1.0k points)
selected by Mags Gaulden
Isabelle, I was so so sorry to hear you went through such a terrible time in your young life. Your father must have been a wonderful person. My husband was in a hospital in Tulsa for three months with polio, and his mother rented a house there, so she could see him when the nurses brought him to the window. The two boys on each side of him died.

Thank you for your answer, and I hope you are doing well these days. My husband has only had a weakness in his legs through the years.
Alexis thanks for your response.  Like your husband I have had problems with leg weakness.  Yes, my father was a great  man and  hero winning a military cross in WW 2.  

How sad that the two boys died, I don’t think anyone in my small town died, but one was left in a wheel chair.  Thankfully like small pox, polio seems to be under control currently, and hopefully COVID will also soon be a bad memory?
I had several classmates that had conracted polio in the 1950's and they struggled but the one's that I will never forget were the children in the Iron Lungs.  Their fathers would unload them in their Iron Lungs from the pick-up trucks to attend mass (in the back of the church).  It was touching and yet so loving to see the parents ( especially the father's) taking care of their children.

I'm another one who had polio and was, for some time, confined to an "iron lung". Parents were allowed one short visit per week to view us and vice-versa, through a plate glass window. If we cried when they left we didn't get a visit the following week. Though left with a crooked spine and weakened legs, I feel lucky to have survived and I'm so thankful today's parents and children don't have to face the spectre of polio.
Deb, I am so very sorry that you have had to go through such pain.  

I am grateful for the polio vaccine I received and escaped this terrible malady of the 50's.

I wish you well,

Wow, that's quite a story. I haven't heard from a survivor of an iron lung before.
Oh there were many Rob! There were whole wards of kids in them. Most came off eventually. The ones who died usually did so in the 1st few weeks, and had no breathing capacity left at all. They didn't work all that well, compared to your own diaphragm, which was the paralyzed muscle the iron lung replaced. The bellows pulled air into your lung, and pushed it out again. Once your diaphragm had recovered to some extent you 'graduated' to a bed which rocked up and down, so gravity assisted your own breathing efforts. Breathing was hard work and there was no 'breath' left to talk, laugh, cry or even eat/drink at first.

Like a lot of people who have gone through traumatic experiences, I blocked the time in the iron lung out. I remember getting sick and waking up unable to move, and the very painful physiotherapy during recovery. I had to relearn how to hold my head up, sit, crawl, hold objects, etc. I went through the same learning process as an infant. I remember all of that, but I don't remember being in the lung. I didn't realize I'd been that sick until my much older sister told me about it in the late 1980s, when I suddenly began having severe muscle weakness. Our parents never told me, didn't want me to know, but my sister thought I should know, for my medical history. I was astounded that I'd never been told.

Polio survivors in the 40s and 50s were told to avoid their pain and push on until they collapsed. We now know that's the opposite of how we should care for our damaged nerves and muscles, but they were doing what they thought was good for us at the time.

As time goes on there are fewer and fewer of us. Of the people in the polio survivor group I attended in the 1990s I am the only one left alive - I'm now 76 - and I have significant disability from my bout with polio. Most of my physicians have never seen a polio survivor. The vaccine, which arrived when I was eight, stopped the annual wave of infections. Thanks to Doctor Jonas Salk.

Thank you for this valuable recollection, memory, and story of the devestating time of Polio for you and many others.

Deb, in the area where I grew up, I was one of the very first to receive the polio jab (if not the first in our town).  Thanks, indeed, to Doctor Jonas Salk.  I also went to school with a polio survivor.  He had leg calipers and frequently (when tired) also used crutches, and many of the other boys would mock him, but Kenny was my friend.

Many years later, and my children were given the oral Sabin vaccine, thanks to Albert Bruce Sabin.

I've often thought certain "anti-vaxxers" should be given tours of the places where iron lungs are still in existence, and have to listen to the stories of the (ever decreasing in number) survivors.
Without these two vaccines, we'd have been so much worse off.
+16 votes

My paternal grandparents married when they were in their thirties, and they had my father the next year. My grandfather had enjoyed the fun life of a bachelor--until the day that my grandmother had a friend care for my father. This was the day she walked into the backroom of their furniture store. She described it as seeing the "most horrible thing" she had ever seen. My grandfather and several businessmen in town were on the floor with money all around and the dice were rolling.

From that day on, my grandmother hired a lady to care for my father, and she worked at the store every day. She learned to upholster furniture, and there was never another craps game.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (550k points)
edited by Alexis Nelson
+15 votes
My 3rd Great grandfather Edward Craston who moved from Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmorland, England to Preston, Lancashire in the occupation of Parish Clerk from 1832-1839 because we know his brother John was Parish Clerk at Kirkby Lonsdale. A shoemaker by trade (as was John) he was a Burgess and one of the Preston Bell Ringers. Edward was Secretary for Preston Nelson Cricket club which later transformed into the globally famous Preston North End Football Club The home of Tom Finney

Interestingly, one of Edward's sons Miles Craston lived at 169/171  Friargate, Preston in 1860. This was the dwelling Benjamin Franklyn stayed at some 100 years earlier before leaving for America in 1775
by Simon Walsh G2G1 (1.7k points)
edited by Simon Walsh
+18 votes

This is a true tale of the (US) Wild West. It concerns the homesteads of four of my my gg grandfather McNicol's sons, including my g grandfather Daniel McNicol. An abbreviated version of the story as told by James McNicol in his "Memories" is as follows:

"In the fall of 1875 a Mr. Sweetland of Salina [Kansas], showed up in the neighborhood. His purpose was to jump claims, or file contests against those who had filed on the claims... Sweetland filed contests against the McNicol boys claim[s] on the ground of insufficient residence." Claim jumpers were, to put the matter mildly, not popular with homesteaders. The sheriff decided to bring Sweetland in on some fairly minor charge, to slow him down and discourage him. Backed by a posse of 30 men, the sheriff began to arrest Sweetland, who at that point drew his pistol and "... backed up to his horse, by holding the crowd back with the gun... Someone took Sweetland's gun away from him. The maddened mob was in for hanging Sweetland then and there [using] two wagon tongues, fastened together. By his own account, "...James came forward and said, "No, there shall be no murder committed by me or my brothers." He pleaded with the men, and finally the mob let the Sheriff take [Sweetland] to jail at McPherson."

by David McNicol G2G6 Mach 2 (27.3k points)
+15 votes
My paternal line settled in New Haven, Connecticut in the 1600s.  They were a fairly well to do family, a father and his three sea captain trader sons.  The family supported education for the sons.  One of my forefathers was one half of the graduating class of Yale.  The other half was the son of the minister who founded Yale and held classes in his home.  I understand it was the second graduating class in Yale's history.  This story is documented in a family genealogy book printed in the early 1900s.
by Beulah Cramer G2G6 Pilot (348k points)
+17 votes
My favorite story is a chain of events involving my paternal line.

* My 70 year old widower gr grandfather Reed took an unwed mother of 2 very young children as his wife and helped support and raise the children.

* My widower grandfather Reed married his daughter's widowed mother-in-law and helped support and raise her younger children.

* When my parents married, my father adopted my mother's 3 young sons (they had been abandoned by husband #1) At the time, he was functiong as the single father of two daughters - unusual for the 1950s. My sisters later went to live with their mother and her partner.

* My brother helped support and raise his wife's younger siblings.

* My nephew adopted the son of his first wife and the young man lives with my nephew now, though my nephew ended up separating and divorcing his mother. My nephew remarried and has been helping to support and raise his 3 step-children as well as a biological child who still lives with his mother.

We were all raised to show up and be the responsible adult in the room.  I don't know for sure, but maybe it goes back to old Quaker roots of independent thinking and following one's conscience. This line hasn't been  at all sectarian in the past 5 generations, deferring to the wife's preference.
by Anonymous Reed G2G6 Mach 3 (39.7k points)
edited by Anonymous Reed
+17 votes

There is a family story about my grandfather, Lewis Gullison

After the Second World War, he and his young family moved down to Florida where he had a job as a bus driver. One day, a man asked to sit up front, as his stop was the next one. My grandfather agreed and things seemed to go okay. The next day, he was called into his bosses office and fired. The man that he had let sit up front was black and a number of my grandfathers white passengers had called in to complain. At the time, racial discrimination in Florida was quite prevalent. He found it hard to get work after that and eventually had to move back home.

by Aaron Gullison G2G6 Mach 9 (91.6k points)
Aaron, thank you for your story about your grandfather. I sometimes forget how sad prejudice was. My mother worked with a black lady, and she was part of her bridge group. This was the 1950s, and I grew up never knowing about discrimination. I realize now, how fortunate I was to have had the mother I had. Your grandfather obviously was a person like my mother, so sad that he lost his job due to his kindness .
+13 votes
My great grandfather Frank Lewis Weinheimer, ,was a captain on the great lakes.  In 1892, his vessel, the Russia, collided with another on a foggy night.  He and his crew were able to bring off all of the crew of the other vessel, that sank, except for a cook who ran below to collect her things.  He then ordered his vessel beached to keep it from sinking, and all got ashore.  His swift reaction ordering the transfer of the other vessel's crew, and beaching his vessel, saved many lives that night.
by Mark Weinheimer G2G6 Pilot (765k points)
Wow, Mark, that is really an excellent sea story about a brave captain. The great lakes certainly have their fair share of bad weather. Mariners in that area have real challenges.
+15 votes
My great grandfather, Ted Siefert-175, was quite a character. He had a small farm in southern IL, and was known as a master barterer. My grandmother said that they never had money, but Ted always used livestock, old equipment, etc.. to trade or sell if the kids needed shoes or any other essentials. She said they never went hungry nor did they want for anything, so Ted must have had it going on! When I came along in the 1960s, Ted was in his mid 80s and for some reason he got it in his head that I needed a shetland pony. The particulars have been lost to time, but Ted ended up calling my Dad telling him he "got that boy a pony" and he needed to get to the sale barn and pick it up. So my dad and his cousin, who were both Ted's grandsons, jumped in the cousin's new car and headed to the sale barn. When they got there they tried to explain to Ted that I was an infant and had no need for a pony, but he wasn't having any of that. They ended up taking the back seat out of the car and, somehow, got the pony in the back seat area, and away they went. The story says that it was quite a sight seeing that car going down main street with the pony's head sticking out of the window, checking out the happenings of downtown. The cool thing was that, as an infant, I had my own horse. The bummer was, they got rid of it before I was ever old enough to ride it!
by John Vaskie G2G6 Mach 2 (26.9k points)
edited by John Vaskie


My older brother won a Shetland pony and cart (!) in a contest sponsored by a local car dealership. This was a great thrill for his five young children. They lived on 40 acres and had a barn and room for a pony (LOL - shades of Hyacinth Bucket - if you've ever watched 'Keeping Up Appearances'). 

The pony was a beauty but so bad-tempered no one, even the adults, could get near it without being bitten, butted or kicked. 

After three days, despite the kids' tears, my brother loaded the pony and cart into his trailer and took them back to the dealership and took the $10.00 'alternate' prize. Turns out that same pony was the prize in the dealership's heavily advertised contest year after year, and was always returned. In between contests it lived in a pasture with several regular-sized horse which it bullied into submission. Apparently its bread was buttered on both sides! wink

Great story Deb! There's always a catch! laugh

+13 votes

Adam was born in Frederick Co. Maryland, on December 27, 1762. He was the son of Reuben and Catherine (Jones) Phillips, formerly of Cecil County, Maryland. His family had been attracted to Frederick County by the deep and fertile soils of the Monocacy and Catoctin. These soils were highly productive, especially for new tobacco which was still a principal crop at this time. Tobacco eventually wore out the soil, and they later moved to Western North Carolina. The Tobacco Inspection act of 1747 ensured that tobacco prices would remain high. This act expired in 1770, which may have been the reason Reuben and family left Maryland. However, population increased so rapidly that by 1770 Frederick Town had more people than Annapolis.

In 1769, the will of John Phillips of Frederick County was proven, listing wife Elizabeth and children Sarah, Catherine, Rachel, Grace, and Ruth. On December 11, 1769 Reuben Philips and wife Catherine sold a tract of land in Frederick County Maryland called Pleasant Valley to Henry Lantiss. By the end of this year, all land owned by Reuben and Catherine Phillips in Frederick County had been sold.

In February 1781, Adam Phillips was in the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Cowan's ford. The troops first assembled at Beatties Ford on the Catawba River, many of them coming straight from church. The Reverend James Hall had called them from Fourth Creek Church, while Reverend Thomas Mc Caule called them at Centre Church. The troops were divided, half of them assigned to Beatties Ford, and Half of them to Cowan's Ford. Adam was with the 300 assigned to Cowan's Ford, and was in the thick of battle during the morning of February 1, 1781.

After the Revolution, Adam married about 1783. The name of this girl is unknown, but she may have been of Indian origin. It is possible that Adam had only the one wife, but family legend stated that his first wife was Indian. Perhaps this first wife died in childbirth, as nothing else in known of her. Eli A. Phillips was born in 1784.

Living in Rowan Co. NC Adam taook an apprentice to learn the trade of Shoemaker. On February 6, 1787 Jesse Phillips gave his apprentice George Vincent to Adam Phillips to learn the trade of shoemaker. As a journeyman shoemaker, Adam raised cows for leather and meat. He often tanned the hides too, using mountain oak and white oak for tanbark and ground it up in a vat with water. If he also had the trade of saddler he might make saddles, harnesses and bridles as well as boots and shoes.

The war years now being over, a bit of prosperity showed its head in sections of the country, and the Phillips family determined to leave Rowan County. Reuben with his sons Thomas and Levi moved to Wilkes County Georgia, and in 1792 were in the section set off to become Oglethorpe County. William and perhaps Jesse moved to Tennessee. Jonas moved first to Montgomery County North Carolina, and then to Pickens District South Carolina. Reuben Jr. moved to Wilkes County North Carolina where he died in 1814, and Adam moved first to Mecklenburg County and then in 1803 to Buncombe County North Carolina.

In the fall of 1803 Adam purchased a piece of unimproved land on the beaverdams of Hominy Creek, and moved into it on the 10th of March 1804. This was the real frontier, and the neighbors were few and far between. Life was hard, and the Philips family found it difficult to exist so far from civilization. The hardest part of living so far out was the lack of adequate schools and churches.

On September 27, 1821, Adam sold Reuben 100 acres of land, and Reuben started building his own house near Adam. Reuben’s reputation as a schoolmaster grew, and in 1823, he was given a teaching position at the Academy in Asheville.

In 1855, Adam applied for a bounty land warrant on this same service and received this shortly.

1858 - In the spring of 1858, Adam died. His last pension check was dated April 4, 1858, so he died about this time. He had lived 95 years, and seen and done many things, so he died happy and to heaven.

(Asheville News)Death of the Oldest Citizen. Mr. Adam Phillips, the oldest citizen perhaps of Buncombe County, being in his 98th year, died Sunday night last, at the residence of his daughter, Mrs Catherine Bell, four miles east of this place. Mr. Phillips had been for sixty years a member of the Methodist Church - forty years of that time a class leader. He was a most excellent man and through his long life enjoyed the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. Green be the memory of his many virtues.

(Reverend John Reynolds) His Youngest daughter Mrs. C. Bell who so tenderly cared for him during his last years, often said she hoped the lord would let him stay just as long as possible, that she might enjoy the benefit of his prayers, and that her house, like that of Obededum, might continue to be blessed.

by John Wesley Phillips G2G Crew (590 points)
+16 votes
My paternal grandfather was raised by his pious aunt and her Baptist preacher husband after the Civil War. They refused him permission to go down to the store for the Saturday night square dance, so after they were in bed he shinnied down the drain pipe and went anyway. Had a good time and would have gotten away with it, had he not stopped on the way home to rest against a fencepost. That's where Uncle James found him next morning and whupped the tar out of him.

Not long afterward, he ran off to Atlanta, where he found work with the city as a lamplighter, ultimately working his way up to become parks superintendent.
by D Armistead G2G6 Mach 3 (32.5k points)
That's great, D.  As it happens, my paternal grandfather, too, was a park superintendent, for Delaware Park, in Buffalo, New York.
Very cool, Mark! I used to live right off Hertel Avenue, so was at the park a lot.
They lived, for years, at 1263 Elmwood Avenue.  The house was torn down to make way for a parking lot at the Albright/Knox gallery, as were his beloved greenhouses.
+15 votes

            I asked dad one time, “Dad, how did you come to be in the military?” He said 2 words, “Orville Birchfield”.  Orville Birchfield was one of dad’s best friends during his teenage years in Aflex, Kentucky. As a teenage boy in Eastern Kentucky there weren’t a lot of opportunities for young men. You either went to work in the coal mines or you scavenged around for whatever else you could find. Dad was scavenging as a delivery boy, driving a truck, delivering groceries for a local grocery store whose name I cannot recall.  One day he and Orville were talking and Orville convinced him that the two of them should join the army on the “buddy system”. 

            The buddy system was essentially an army recruiting tool.  If two men (buddies) joined up together, the military agreed that they would keep the two men together, at least, through their six weeks of basic training.  After that, well, all bets were off.  Where one would eventually end up working in the military depended upon the batteries of aptitude tests the military gave you during your basic training. But, that was 6 weeks away. No need to worry about that just yet.

            So, plan in hand, the two men drove up to the Army recruiting office there in Huntington, West Virginia to sign up.  Six hours later, Douglas Adkins and Orville Birchfield became the two newest members of the United States Army. The only thing left was to do the physical exam and get their reporting date.  That’s where the problems came in. Dad passed his physical exam. Orville Birchfield did not.  In dad’s mind the two men were a package deal. They either both went in the Army together, or neither of them went into the Army. That thought turned out to be half right.  Uncle Sam however, had a difference of opinion. In his mind dad had signed on the dotted line, held up his right, said “I swear”, and passed a physical exam.  Therefore, Douglas Adkins is in the United States army.  And Orville?  Who’s Orville?

            And so, on January 8th 1949, dad kissed grandma Lizzie goodbye, shook grandpa Jim’s hand and got on a bus bound for Fort Knox, Kentucky.  I sometimes wonder if his good buddy Orville was there at the bus station to shake his hand and see dad off…  Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter all that much.

by David Adkins G2G1 (1.2k points)
+12 votes

The story of Edward Weldon. you can read the account here. Edward Weldon (1487-1547) | WikiTree FREE Family Tree. I for my part have also always attempted to serve well and earn a bene factum. 

by Eugene Weldon G2G1 (1.1k points)
+13 votes
Moments before the Church doors opened up to reveal a Bride and her tuxedo clad father to walk down the aisle, he said to me, "Are you sure you don't want to just shack up with this guy rather than marry him?" -And that was my father's sense of humor.
by Cindy Fogle G2G1 (1.1k points)
+12 votes

My paternal great-grandfather Edwin Ernest (EE) Turton born 1862 in Ripley, Derbyshire and died 1935 in Ottawa, Ontario. 

He was hired by Ottawa Cricket Club, Rideau Hall Grounds. In 1886 hired  by club as “professional coach and bowler.” In 1891, replaces as “Pro” by his older brother Joseph Pym Turton. The family story is that he was brought to the club by Canadian Governor-General of the time Marquis of Lansdowne as the cricket pro in 1888.

Records show: Emigrated 1881 (age 20) with his brother, Joseph Pym (age 23) to New York City - Ref. New York Port Immigration Records. Emigrated to Ottawa in 1886 [?] From both Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Journal 25 July 1935: “...came to America in the eighties spending a short time in the US. He came to Ottawa, where he has resided since 1886...coached by some of Derbyshire’s noted cricketers - on coming to Ottawa joined the Ottawa Cricket extraordinary bowler...also a fine batsman and fielder....”

by Keith Turton G2G1 (1.7k points)
+14 votes
My favorite story to tell about my father is:  Every night he would shave and I would stand beside  him to watch as he lathered his face and then start the process of shaving. Just before he finished, I would fall down and "pretend" I was asleep.  He would then pick me up and tuck me in bed.  I can remember this routine as if it were yesterday.  Our nightly routine before my bedtime.
by Judy Mauldin G2G6 (6.7k points)
That's a very sweet memory Judy. It brought tears to my eyes. Isn't it lovely that these "simple" rituals encapsulate the love we shared with our Dads as small children? Aren't we lucky to have such memories?
Thank you Deb. It is a memory I frequently have.  My father died at the young age of 59 and I like to think about those special times often.
+12 votes
My grandmother Louisa Molyneux (nee Trowles) told my cousin John Buckley, that her daughter, Gwendoline Frances Eden (nee Molyneux) was not her biological father.  Her biological father was one of the illegitimate children of King Edward VII (Queen Victoria was not amused!) with whom she had an affair when working as a chambermaid in Windsor.  My mother, Gwendoline was 86 when she was told this and was absolutely shocked.  Louisa had always kept this a secret from her husband.   My great Aunt on the Seymour side of our family was employed at Windsor Castle to do the embroidery on Queen Victoria's underwear.  She was married to the Lord Mayor of London.  The Molyneux family originated in France and apparently came over with William the Conqueror.  Their house used to stand on what is now the Molyneux football stadium.  We also have a connection to Croxteth Hall in Liverpool which was bequeathed to the Liverpool Council.
by Jacqueline Hanington G2G Crew (560 points)
Sorry, but I'm missing something there in the mess of dangling phrases. Is Gwendoline John's daughter or Louisa's daughter? And how could Gwendoline be anybody's biological father? Louisa had the affair? There's a lot going on there.
Sorry to confuse you.  Gwendoline was Louisa's daughter.  Her biological father was apparently one of the illegitimate children of King Edward VII.  Louisa had the affair with the King.

John Buckley was the son of Gwendoline's sister Margery Buckley (nee Molyneux).

Thomas F. Molyneux brought up Gwendoline together with his wife

Louisa Molyneux (nee Trowles) and several other siblings at their home in Peascod Street, Shoreditch, Windsor.  They had the Molyneux coat of arms above the door.  

Thomas was the head gas lamp lighter in Windsor Castle.
+13 votes
When I was a little girl, my family traveled each year to Louisiana to visit my mom’s family. I hardly could wait to see my grandad, James Holmes, and to hear his wonderful stories. We’d sit outside in the big porch swing and he’d tell me fantastic stories while we shelled peas for my grandma. The porch was edged with vibrant hydrangeas and smuggled next to pawpa, I’d gaze at the beautiful flowers and hear all about Brier Rabbit and the Tar Baby. “Please Brier Fox, please don’t throw me in that brier patch.”  Such loving memories of my dear grandad.  ( I knew no grandfathers on my paternal line.)
by Emily Parmley G2G1 (1.3k points)
+12 votes

My paternal grandfather Floyd Harrison Cook Jr. didn't remember his father Floyd Harrison Cook Sr., since his father left the family when he was a young boy, but my grandfather stuck around for his wife and three children, supported and watched them grow up. After my mother died, just over a year after I was born, my father wasn't going to give me up, even though my maternal grandfather made it clear that a child needs to be raised by two parents and that he and my maternal grandmother should raise me. My father remarried a year after that and so I have admiration for my paternal grandfather and my father. That's not to say that I don't have admiration for my maternal grandfather, I do but for other reasons. 

by Keith Cook G2G6 Mach 3 (39.8k points)
+13 votes

Daddy was one of those young men during WWll that lied about their age in order to join the military.  This was a common occurrence. And we always thought we knew for a fact that daddy was three years younger than mom, despite the age on his military records.

They had met in Norfolk during the early 50’s while he was still a journalist in the Navy, and mom, a former Army Asst. Lieutenant, was working at the naval base as a civilian.  Mom was beautiful and already had been engaged to several dashing young men, including a pilot, an ice skater, and recently a prominent Norfolk chiropractor who was also a bodybuilder.  Still, in her late 20’s, no one was quite right.  And she wanted to marry a man from Denver.  She had grown up in the mountains of North Carolina reading the westerns of Zane Grey and falling in love with the mystique of Colorado.  Somehow, marrying someone who would take her to Colorado became a requirement.  Well daddy was smitten at first site and maybe a little intimidated.  But he was very handsome, admitted to being three years younger, and indeed had grown up in Denver.  They married shortly after meeting and—finally moved to Denver in the early 70’s.  

Forward to the 1990’s.  I got a call from mom one day.  She had some amazing news. She had just had a conversation with dad about him applying for social security benefits.  But no, he said, I have to wait 3 more years.  It turns out that daddy was really 6 years younger than mom.  He confessed that he didn’t think mom would have married a 23 year old.  All I could think of at the time were all those years my sister and I created our homemade squiggly birthday cards and we never had the right age—what had gone through his young mind?  

by M Wade G2G1 (1.1k points)

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