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.
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?