Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Clutching The Truth

When I was younger I remember listening to family members talk about the Good Old Days, I also remember smiling to myself when they told of things they had done and places they had been.

My Granddad served in the Army Air Force during the Korean War and World War II, the adventures he had during this time was impressive, one story that I smiled at most began when he showed me the .303 British Rifle he had in his collection, he said this gun was one he used while in the service, he also said this rifle was the exact one he used to shoot down enemy planes that were flying over.

His stories were always grand and the lives he saved with his trusty weapon was impressive, the gun most likely was one similar to the Air Force issue, but for him it was one in the same, I have no doubt that the stories were true and I absolutely would never claim that the tales were exaggerated, I can only go by what he said and you know as well as I that our grandparents would never stretch the truth.

I also smile when I recall him standing in his front yard, looking up at the F-111D Fighters flying overhead near the Air Base he retired from, the look of pride on his face told me that his adventures were real, and exaggerated or not were a big part of his life.

His Father I never knew, but family legend goes that he served as a Private in the 4th Regiment SC Cavalry during the Civil War; he was wounded at The Battle of Cold Harbor in Hanover County, VA and discharged to return home after this.

My research shows he was born in December of 1851, so at the time of the war he was only about ten years old, during further research I have found military records that follow this story completely, the muster date for his name was January 1863, so I have to completely believe my Granddads story of his father fighting in the Cavalry at the tender age of twelve, because things like this did happen during those days.

I also remember working on my car in a service station my Dad owned, Granddad would hang around and tell stories, my Dad and he would argue over the facts of each story, because as you know everyone remembers your stories better than you do.

I had completely cleaned my 73 Gran Torino Sport, I had also painted the rear axle a flat black, the rear of the car was jacked up to make it look like the Hot Rod it was, and the painted rear axle just set it off, especially for those who found themselves losing to my awesome driving abilities, and speaking of my abilities, I was in the process of backing out of the service bay when I ran over the can of flat black spray paint.

The paint can exploded sending the majority of the paint all over the side of my car, I got out and exploded also, I jumped back into the car and spinning tires left a black mark all the way back into the bay, I was cleaning the paint off of the car when Granddad walked up and was looking at the black marks left by my tires.

He smiled and said, “Just tell your Dad that your foot slipped off the clutch, that’s what he always told me” I looked at him and said this is an automatic, I don’t have a clutch, Granddad looked at me laughing and said, “Neither did he”.

You think I could get by with telling Benjamin that I completely painted my car flat black by simply spinning the tires? Or that I actually owned a Gran Torino back in the 70’s, Maybe I’d better hang on to this picture for proof of the car, because I can already see that smile of disbelief on his face.

What fabulous stories did you hear when you were younger, that led you to think just maybe your Grandparents or family may be stretching the truth a bit?

30 comments:

  1. "Just tell your Dad that your foot slipped off the clutch, that’s what he always told me” I looked at him and said this is an automatic, I don’t have a clutch, Granddad looked at me laughing and said, “Neither did he”.

    HILARIOUS, Jimmy!!!!! OMG...how funny!

    Great photo of you and your Gran Torino! Yes, I remember those back in the '70s. I had a Chevy Nova and loved that car.

    Well, when I was a kid I use to stand in front of a mirror and see how ugly I could make my face. I would make the most horrible and hideous faces and then walk around the house showing my family how great it was that I could make the ugliest faces in the world. My mother told me, "You better be careful because one day your face is going to STICK like that, Ronnie, and you're not going to be able to undo it!"

    Bwhahahahahahahahaha!

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    1. Hey Ron, Your Mom must have been in touch with my Mom because I too heard the face is gonna stick that way story Ha Ha

      The Nova was a nice car too, I never owned one but it is one I wouldn't mind getting my hands on.

      Granddad was a card for sure, he either told you a joke or a story and they were all great.

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  2. LOVE what your grandfather said! I got the "they'll stick that way" with crossing my eyes.

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    1. Hey Ms. A, Grandad had a way with words for sure, we must have all monkeyed around a lot as kids, because the it'll stick that way routine was used on us all Ha Ha

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  3. Fun post. My dad told me his grandfather found the second biggest gold nugget ever found in California. The nugget weighed nearly twenty-four pounds but I later learned it wasn't even in the top twenty.

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    1. Thank You Stephen, Well to take your Dad and Great Grandfathers side, it could have been the second biggest at the time :^) at any rate can you imagine a twenty four pound nugget WOW

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  4. Ye Gods, I remember the Korean War. I was but a kid, of course, courting a guy who was due to join up. Mind you, the war was probably drawing towards the end at the time. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.... grins.
    Enjoyed this post, Jimmy, and the tales your grandfather told. Oooh fancy you owning a Gran Torino Sport.

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    1. Hi Valerie, Yes Mam stick to your guns no matter what, that time frame was actually not that far off..Right :)

      Lordy how many times I have said "I wish I still had that car", it was a good one.

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  5. Great picture, Jimmy. Takes me back, just looking at those clothes and car.

    My grandparents never talked about the old days. I think it made them sad. My dad always talked about how far he had to walk to school and I've google mapped it and it really is far! No one in their right mind would send a little kid off by himself like that nowadays.

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    1. That picture take me back also, it doesn't seem that far away in my mind but yet it is I suppose.

      Even when I was a kid we were allowed to roam all over the place with no worries, heck I am scared to send the kids as far as the mailbox now, this is part of the Good Old Days I do miss for sure.

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  6. Great story!!! Yes...the old stories we have for our Grandkids...Great picture too!!

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    1. Thank You Bev, Yes we have to pass the stories down, it is sure worth it to see the look on their faces when they are listening, whether it be a look of amazement or disbelief, it works either way :^)

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  7. Hi Jimmy, I just wanted to stop by and say hello!I'm not sure if you remember me lol. It's been almost a year since I have posted.

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    1. Hi Cindy, So good to see you again my Friend, sometimes we need a break I think we all take one from time to time, I did the same thing myself, Yes I remember you and I look forward to having you back with us.

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  8. My dad wanted to protect me from the hardships he had suffered, so the only hardships I'm aware of are the ones I put HIM through.

    My 67 Malibu was airborn as I flew over the train tracks on my way home. By the time I got there (1/2 mile away) the cops - friends of my dad's - had already informed him of what his kid had done. I still remember blowing it off with a "I did not!". And I still feel guilty knowing he believed me.

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    1. Sounds familiar to me, I tried to pull a few things on Mom when I was a teen also, she said she believed me on most but I know in my heart she knew the truth.

      I can see that Malibu flying across the tracks :^0

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    2. Isn't it sad how our first car has an emotional attachment to us? It was a silver malibu 4-speed. I pictured myself as being the fastest female around, and I think I was, since there were only boys willing to race. And those wide oval tires. OMG

      Black leather bucket seats.....stereo.....*WAAAAAAH*

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    3. I just imagine you were faster in that Malibu than most of the boys, I sure miss that class of car, they sure sounded better than the mosquito sounds you hear coming out of these cars today.

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  9. Hmmm, good-looking car. My hubby was a shade tree mechanic (AKA Dundalk gearhead) when we were teenagers, and after he retired, got back into building project cars again. So far, he's got a '77 El Camino, (banana cream with a black racing strip) a '76 Corvette, (in great shape under the hood, but still in need of a good paint job) and a '30 Model A rat rod. So, who knows? You may end up with another Gran Torino before all is said and done. Ya never know.

    My grandfather was the world's best "story teller", and always with a straight face. And me? I'm probably on the top ten most gullible list. So, he used to fill my head with all kinds of hogwash about life in Scotland.

    Oh, by the way, that whole thing about how "your face is gonna freeze like that" was actually included in the 1950's version of the Mother's Manual, I think.

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    1. Hey Susan, I keep thinking maybe one day also, like you said you never know.

      I think you are right the it'll stick that way had to be in the Mothers Handbook :)

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  10. Embellished? No, none of them, they're all true. Nice car! Darn clutches..

    Wow, it's hard to imagine a boy of 12 serving in the Calvary, but you're right. Those things happened. My youngest son is 12 now! My dad went off to WWII when he was 18. He met my mom in the Phillipines and the rest is history. I love looking at the old photos of them when they were so young. It's like another world. I guess it kind of was.

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    1. Hi Abby, Like you I love looking at the pictures from way back, I suppose it was another world but one that got us here, the stories tell us so :)

      I imagine it was actually true having boys that young in the service, hard to wrap your head around that one though.

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  11. That's fabulous that your Grampa told you to tell your Dad that! Love it when things come full circle!

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    1. Hey SC, It always seems to come back full circle doesn't it Ha Ha I'm just waiting for it to come back to me from my kids :)

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  12. My grandfather was injured (shot) in World War I. He never talked about it. My husband's grandfather also fought in World War I.

    Maybe he is the one who shot at my grandfather. We will never know, but it just shows how wars are.

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    1. I have known a lot of people who served in the military who do not discuss what happened while they were away, they come back with a different look in their eye, I suppose we really don't want to know what they have seen, wars do this to our people and we continue to participate it seems.

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  13. The story goes that my great grandmother, who was of Spanish descent and somewhat dark, once lived in slave quarters in Florida. I don't necessarily doubt the story - the timeframe is barely correct - but it is one that I tell and get looks from people that appear to be of doubt (which I think is mostly due to my being shiningly white and Irish, with not a drop of my Spanish blood having made it to my outside appearance.)

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    1. Hi Jim, This sounds like a story I have been tracing in our line also, I am supposed to have a full blood Cherokee Grandmother somewhere in the line but no records I have found, like you I don't see any Cherokee in myself but it is a possibility I suppose.

      The shiningly White Irish blood is evidently hiding the Spanish in you.

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  14. What a sweet ride Jimmy! You were styling and riding high. That is an awesome photo!!

    My uncle told me as kids they would sleep in sacks tacked on the wall. I totally bought it until I talked to his sister who laughed and laughed when I asked her. He got me good. Here I was thinking....children of the sacks. HA.

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  15. Thank You Angelia, I can just see the kids hanging on the wall in sacks, I have heard my Grandma speak of placing babies to sleep in a pulled out dresser drawer for the night, just may have to investigate this story too. Ha Ha

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