The Mysteries of a Foster Grandpa :: CR99 220712

Inspired by Charli Mill’s Carrot Ranch, #99WordStories
In 99 words (no more, no less) write an iconic story from thought “for a day”


We cousins had an iconic, audacious, and outrageous storytelling step-grandpa.

His life between hobo-ing for work across the country via railroad to joining our family was a mystery. His accounts were so wild and entertaining; no way they could all be true, but were any?

His adventures sent us dreaming, but our parents knew we were safe with him – mostly.

At twelve, he taught me to drive his old stick-shift truck after committing me to not telling mom.

Given one more day with him, I’d spend some clarifying actual history, but most of it capturing his barely plausible stories.

hobo railroad

Photo credit:

This photo was the featured photo for a great article about how the American hobo was NOT a bum and the man described could have been my step grandfather.

GW bio card 4

26 thoughts on “The Mysteries of a Foster Grandpa :: CR99 220712

    1. You would have doubted that many of his stories were true, like we did. But likely, you would have kept coming back for more because he was a fantastic story teller and trying to discern the truth of these things was part of the fun.


    1. Oh yes he did. Like an endless spring of adventures from his traveling around by rail and weird things he saw in various bars, strange people he’d met at hobo camps. He kept us distracted for many hours.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My mom’s parents split because my original grandfather could not stay true to his wife. He liked and was well liked by too many ladies and grandma had her fill of him and dumped him. Then she married this guy and we were all very taken by him. He was fun and crazy and stayed true to her until he died. We still talk of him with awe. He’s our own personal iconic grandpa. Thanks for spending some time with this little story.


      1. Hi Kirstin. Yea – she was quite a gal, iconic in many ways rejected by her wealthy father for marrying outside of their national origins but making and raising an amazing family then dealing with her husband when he failed her. She was great loved and is dearly missed. 🙂


  1. Gary, this post made me think of an old black and white photo of my Grandmother’s brother (his name escapes me right now), but he is siting on the wagon with the horse reins in his hand. He is leaning back posing for the picture, but every time I see the photo stories dance through my mind. He has a mischievous look to him. Anyway, great post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I never met him. It’s just this picture. I know Grandma shared stories about him, but nothing that I can pull out of my memory. If is just a mischievous looking man in a black and white phone. But I suppose that in itself could be a wonderful prompt.


    1. Oh my – I recall being a kid sitting on the floor in front of the old TV while my parents watched his show. I thought he was weird and didn’t understand most of his jokes but my folks were in stitches most of the time.
      You would have loved this man – everyone did, but you would have found gold in his stories.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sure. I was enough older than you were to think he was pretty funny. I’m sure I understood on a more basic level than they did and missed the nuances, though.

        Liked by 1 person

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