Thursday, April 11, 2013

J. Just so stories.


My grandparents, especially Grandpa, had a unique method of storytelling.  And in the case of my Grandma, just girl talk could confuse the heck out of the guys.

Grandpa loved a tv show (Hunter).  The main character was a man named Fred Dryer.  We'd sit down to watch the show, and Grandpa would almost always comment, Granddaughter, that is one fine man there, he played football.  I would wait expectantly.  What was it going to be this week?

Yes, he was a half back for the Eagles.

He was?

Oh, yes, great player.

I would smile.  I finally found out he actually DID play football, (from Wikipedia), "former football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL). Dryer played 13 years in the NFL, playing 176 games, starting 166, and recording 104 career sacks with the New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams. Dryer is the only NFL player to score two safeties in one game."  Not that I consider Wikipedia to be the bastion and arbiter of truth, however.  But I think this could be checked for verification...

Grandpa had a different position and team for him each week.  I started to notice it was generally which ever team he'd watch play recently, and it just happened to be the winning team.  Why the continual changes on the position, I don't know.  Maybe he just couldn't remember.  But I knew that "Hunter" was a football player.  Little vague on the details, but hey, Grandpa liked talking about it, I didn't care...  Quite a few of his stories were a bit... Unique on the details.  I learned that I had to check if I wanted to repeat some fact he'd given me.  Quite a few were on the money.  Quite a few more were not.  He had an interesting life, and I liked sitting on the back porch, watching him smoke and drink beer, and get into story telling mode.  Some sessions were cut short, Mom didn't really want me to hear what happened on certain fishing trips...  Actually, neither did Grandma!

Speaking of Grandma, she, Mom and I, were comrades in vocabulary.  When we would talk, we would darn near have our own language.  For example, the ice cream with three sections.  Mom: Neapolitan, Grandma: Metropolitan, Me: Napoleon.   Why we did this, I haven't a clue, but we always knew what the others were talking about, and never slowed the conversation with our strange and cryptic wording.  Grandpa and Dad would just stare.

Bless him, when Husband got the privilege of hearing our word circus one time, he looked at me blankly, and when we were alone, he finally drew up his courage and asked me, "Do you talk like that all the time, or did my hearing aide battery die?"  After wiping the tears from my eyes from laughing so hard, I explained our words being just our stuff, that I couldn't explain it.  After that, when he heard me on the phone with Grandma, he would just quietly walk out of the room, so he wouldn't have to witness his wife's temporary insanity.

They are both gone now, but I must say, I have some great memories of both of them.  Even if I can't tell you much about which team "Hunter" played for...  Or how much Napoleon is in the freezer...

(Just so stories)


  1. Ahh, what a nice memory... it brought a huge smile to my face!

  2. My grandpa had wonderful stories to tell too. It's great to have had the experience of listening to them.

  3. My grandpa was a great storyteller, I loved sitting and listening to him. This post made me smile, your grandparents sound like they were real characters. :)

    I love the title of your blog! Just stopping by from the A-Z and I'm so glad to meet you.

  4. Love that his stories were 'unique on the details.'

  5. You've given me the biggest smile! A personal family "language" is an amazing and fun thing, especially when others just don't know what to make of it.

  6. I can tell that you miss him dearly. I miss my grandparents also.

  7. Family - they're all yours, zaniness and all. I love stories like this.


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