Family Stories

These two submissions seemed to go together:

by Honolulu Mother

According to this Psychology Today blog post,

C]hildren and adolescents who know more of their family stories show higher well-being on multiple measures, including higher self-esteem, higher academic competence, higher social competence, and fewer behavior problems.

It goes on to offer a set of 20 questions that can serve as a starting point for telling family stories.

My kids like to hear family stories, though I don’t think they could answer all those questions. I specialize in telling embarrassing stories about my siblings, although some about me may slip in from time to time.

Do you share family stories? Have you created some of your own that your kids might pass on to their own families?

Our Parents’ Stories

by Swim

The link to the article about cliques in nursing homes made me very sad. So much going on under the surface there. Made me think of a topic suggestion: what have you learned about your parents that surprised you? Young kids and adult children think they know their parents, but often have little idea of their parents younger lives, or even how interesting their lives are when kids leave home.


199 thoughts on “Family Stories

  1. I really enjoy the show “Finding Your Roots”, in part because I don’t know a lot about my family, particularly about my grandparents’ generation. On my dad’s side, they’ve passed. On my mom’s side there is a reluctance to share any “embarrassing” family stories at all. For example, I only learned recently that my cousin has been separated from his wife for two years. This information was deemed “embarrassing” to my aunt and therefore not widely disclosed within the family. This means no one in my extended family is particularly close (or all that supportive because how could we be, we don’t know).

    OTOH, I love sharing stories with my kids about my childhood and they love asking questions about their childhood (well, they’re only 10, so really about their lives so far).

  2. My grandparents had some rough breaks in early life. One grandfather went deaf in one ear after a childhood illness. He had to drop out of school some time during junior high to go to work. My grandmother when she was 10 or 10, in the course of about a year, lost both her mother and sister. Together, they had a number of miscarried pregnancies, and only one successful one.

    Otherwise, from the 1950s onward, life was decent, working-middle class. Maybe because of that, when I think about what stories everyone would tell, the most prominent are the silly ones, often involving some level of incompetence. There was the time they had too much to drink visiting a vineyard on Long Island, ended up following the wrong car home (someone had promised to lead them), and found themselves in the wrong state entirely. And there was the couple that they befriended on a vacation, telling my parents for months how great these people were, until finally they got my parents and these friends together for dinner, and the friends launch into their sales pitch for Amway.

    My other grandfather would never talk about his time in WWII. My uncle had to research Army Air Force records for a few medal citations, and research what campaigns the group was involved in. Another uncle, discussing his time in the war, would tell my mom about the time the bear was trying to get into his tent. No more.

    They were good people, but they didn’t seem to want to spend much time dwelling on sadness.

  3. I like those questions. I can answer most of them for myself, and I have the answers for my kids when they are old enough.

    My dad’s widow recently sent me photos… a stack of my oldest in the NICU. In one picture, my son is grumpy as hell. He looks exactly like my dad. I can’t wait to show him that when he’s old enough and tell him that. It’s a way to keep my dad’s memory for the boys.

    I know a lot about my mom’s family and little about my dad’s. I’m spending this year going through ancestry dot com records and doing their DNA test to try to understand more about that side of my family. My mom even wants to take the DNA test so I can “subtract” her from my records to estimate my father’s contribution. It won’t be perfect (the scientist in me is shuddering actually), but if anything that we don’t know pops up I can at least figure out which side it came from.

    I do hope my boys become interested in their history. We have some great stories to tell them.

  4. My mom was a first generation American whose parents had awful experiences in the old country that they rarely discussed with their children or grandchildren. My BIL is a genealogy nut who interviewed my grandmother at length about her early years, which is how we learned about some of the sadness that she otherwise kept to herself.
    My dad told us only very recently that his own father, as a teenager, had accidentally killed his uncle in a hunting accident. There were a lot of hardships during the Depression that certainly explain why my parents didn’t throw anything away.

    Our kids have been insulated from those things, but they have never been particularly interested in learning family stories from that far back.

  5. I can answer all the questions except this one:

    Do you know what went on when you were being born?

    You mean, other than that my mother was probably really uncomfortable? Or does that mean “what was happening in the wider world on that day”? Or what?

  6. We tell stories all the time — usually the funny and/or embarrassing ones. The “best” part of being in the hospital together when my stepdad was on life support was telling all of the stories — I had forgotten a bunch that my stepsiblings told, they had forgotten a bunch that I told, and we just spent so much time laughing between crying bouts.

    I agree that for us, at least, the stories are what tie us together, because no matter how far apart we go or how long it is since we’ve seen each other, they remind us all of the things that we share(d). It means someone cares enough about you to remember all of those things.

  7. My FIL was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Purple Heart. He never, ever talked about it. I always suspected he saw some real ugliness. I didn’t know him in the 60’s of course, but heard that he was very much against the Vietnam War

  8. One of the reasons I miss my mother so much was because she was the fount of crazy funny stories about her crazy family. I try to tell my kids her stories, to keep the link, but they never knew her and I can’t tell the stories in the same hilarious way

  9. “Or what?”

    Family logistical circumstances surrounding the birth. Where was dad at the time, who took care of any siblings, did they almost crash speeding to the hospital…?

    I caused my parents to miss a certain TV event that is still referenced in pop culture.

  10. We tell stories all the time. There is a whole genre of stories involving DH and his BFF. They’ve known each other since kindergarten, and the stories follow a similar plot line. DH and BFF have a great idea. They figure out most of the details and assume the other one will handle something critical. Something goes awry. They end up in a situation having to come up with a solution before a) the dad find outs or b) they have to admit they made a mistake. To this day, they claim that everything always worked out just fine.

  11. “Or what?”

    Family logistical circumstances surrounding the birth. Where was dad at the time, who took care of any siblings, did they almost crash speeding to the hospital…?

    I was born while Dad was dropping the siblings off at grandma’s house. The nurse wouldn’t tell him if I was a girl or boy because he wasn’t around when I was born.

  12. My FIL was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded a Purple Heart. He never, ever talked about it. I always suspected he saw some real ugliness.

    Yeah, mine wouldn’t talk about it either. Everything I know I have gotten from government records and information from my dad’s cousins, who also served in that war, but were more willing to talk about it.

  13. I have no idea what happened when I was born – it was an emergency delivery because my mother developed pre-eclampsia. When my sibs were born, we were taken to the Mormon family who lived nearby so that my father didn’t have to miss any work. They had 7 kids already, what’s another 1 or 2?

  14. Well, then I have no idea what was going on. In 1960 the dads weren’t in the delivery room. Maybe Dad was at home with my 6-year-old sister? Stanford Hospital was only a few miles from my house. I bet my sister would remember.

  15. My FIL bounced in and out of the Army through most of the 50’s. When he was in a social setting where it was expected for him to tell an army story, he always told a story about getting chiggers while on some sort of field exercises in Georgia. He was often away during that period, and in fact, when SIL3 was born, he was down South so MIL was driven to the hospital by one of the uncles, and then FIL came in on a train 2 days later,

  16. My dad missed my birth. He was there through most of the night but nothing much seemed to be happening so the nurses told him he could go home. He needed to check in on my siblings who I believe were being watched by a neighbor. By the time he got back, I had arrived. He was pissed.

    My birth was the only one where my mom received pain medication. She used hypnosis/meditation techniques for the births of my siblings. (!) She got to stay in the hospital a whole week and eat cheeseburgers. After spending some time at the hospital for jaundice, I came home on Christmas eve in a stocking.

  17. One of the only war-related stories that Dad told was that one day, when he was walking along in Paris, he saw Jean-Paul Sartre.

  18. My dad died when I was 10 and my mom remarried when I was 13. In my mom’s now-cured co-dependency stage, she kept really quiet re my dad after she remarried because she didn’t want to offend/upset husband #2. Btw, the most easy-going guy ever who came from a big family, and he would never have taken offense at Mom talking to my sister and me about our bio dad.

    Also, my mom and dad met/married/lived in CA; all the rest of his family, my grandmother, one special needs sister, another sister and a brother all lived in the midwest. He talked with my grandmother maybe 2-3x/yr, that in the days of expensive LONG DISTANCE calls. His dad was long gone, both divorced from his mom and dead, by the time I came along. I met his mom and her daughters twice, once when we did a 3-week family driving trip in our pink Oldsmobile station wagon when I was 5 and once around his funeral. At DW’s insistence/encouragement I connected with the brother since by the time I was married he had moved to AZ, close to where DW’s family has a house so we had dinner together a few times before he died.

    My mom was/is an only. Her father was an alcoholic, couldn’t really keep a job, my grandmother divorced him as soon as my mom moved out.

    I effectively moved out when I went to college at 18 and haven’t spent much time with my immediate family since.

    So, add it all up and we weren’t the family who sat around on vacation or at holidays telling the ‘remember when…’ stories.

    But our kids truly love hearing stories about growing up and looking at all the 1000s of pictures we have of them!

  19. Some ancestor of mine was living in Kansas on a farm, and when Quantrill’s Raiders showed up, his wife rolled him up in a carpet and said he wasn’t home, and thus he didn’t get killed.

  20. “I caused my parents to miss a certain TV event that is still referenced in pop culture.”

    Just guessing here…the reveal of who shot JR?

  21. Final episode of MASH? I can’t imagine that your family were fans of MASH, though.

  22. Fred – exactly my thought!

    Our kids #1 and #2 have good birth stories – I went into labor with #1 a month early at our baby shower (in a different state) and then DH had to drive on the embankment of the highway (95 in CT) to get us to the hospital. #2 was born during a blizzard and everyone was supposed to stay off the roads. #3 was less interesting – nice weather and on time – but my labor was so short that she was born about 15 minutes after we got to the hospital.

    I am planning (with my siblings) to get my parents an oral history project for their birthdays/Xmas this year so they can tell all the family stories. My dad used to tell great stories when I was a kid about my grandfather (who worked for Standard Oil back in the day) going to temples in India and finding some magical treasure. Now that I think about it, he probably got the original idea from Indiana Jones.

  23. “Final episode of MASH? I can’t imagine that your family were fans of MASH, though.”

    I understand that my grandfather was a fan. And, funny thing, my 11 yo likes it now and watches it regularly.

  24. I was too lazy to put in the asterisks.
    Yeah it’s real taxing to hit ‘caps lock’ and type it using the capital 8!

  25. My mom was induced with me because her doctor wanted to go out on his boat for the Bicentennial. As I was the firstborn, my parents were together in the hospital. When my middle brother was born, I remember being bored out of my tree in the waiting room with my grandparents. I can remember very clearly doing pages & pages of a Richard Scarry “Busy Book” and doing math problems out of some workbook from the educational store. (I was 5.) When my mom went into labor with my other brother, I was the babysitter for middle brother until my parents’ friend could come over. (I was 10 and he was 5.)

    DS knows some of the stories of his parents’ misbehavior and misfortune as kids, but obviously not all of it yet.

    One of my grandparents died when I was a baby, another two within a year of each other when I was 10. I remember them of course, and I have lots of fond memories, but I didn’t really get to know them very well. The grandmother that lived until I was 40 I knew very well. I interviewed her for a school project and kept the tape for decades. We also got her to tape her life story using some premade oral history program and all of us direct descendents have the CD’s. I cherish those.

    There are family secrets that I was not told about until I was in college that are never spoken of. I’m not really sure if my brothers know about them or not. I often wonder if I should ask them about them – at least middle brother who I am closer to. But then it doesn’t really come up.

  26. There are family secrets that I was not told about until I was in college that are never spoken of.

    I had a long talk with my aunt a while back….so.many.secrets. At lot of things make more sense now. Even as a little kid the explanations just never made any sense. Long story short my dad’s a sociopath.

  27. See, there you go saying “There are family secrets that I was not told about until I was in college that are never spoken of” and I get all nosy (or as my MIL would say ‘newsy’) about what could be so scandalous now since you found out about them 20+ years ago and clearly they happened well before that. Even the gov’t declassifies some stuff after 30+ years. :-)

  28. One of our family secrets was that my mom’s oldest sister had a shotgun marriage in 1930. I didn’t learn that til I was an adult and Mom had had a few glasses of wine.

  29. My ILs had tons of secrets because they are the stiff upper lip types. Evidently one of DH’s cousins was born out of wedlock to one of his aunts, and was then adopted by the married aunt. DH never knew this until he had graduated from college. On the other hand, there were never any secrets in my family. The minute my 30 something uncle ran off with the 16 year old student at the HS where he taught, we all heard about it.

  30. We don’t have anything in the way of family secrets, as far as I know. I’m concerned we’re going to lose the family history on my mom’s side because my uncle is the only one left who really knows it. I’ve asked him several times to write it down, but he hasn’t yet.

    On my dad’s side, a cousin I never even heard of did an amazing in-depth history of my grandmother’s family – she found paperwork from when people came through Ellis Island, birth and marriage certificates, the works. It’s truly amazing.

  31. RMS,

    The car! OMG! And I must say the creepy clowns in the dining room really pull the look together.

  32. Stuff like secret pregnancies where the teenage mother was sent off somewhere for a few months before the baby was given up for adoption and never spoken of again, and the real reason children were not ever left alone with a certain relative.

  33. Rhett! How do you find this real estate??? That place is CRAZY. The white piano! The weird bed shrines! The statues EVERYWHERE! And could I forget the green carpet in that one bathroom?

  34. This is a fun topic—I want to read everyone else’s stories later. Right now I’m on the side of the onramp to I-4, waiting for the cops to come write a report. We’ve been at Disney since 8 am, were heading home in crappy traffic, probably going 10 mph when my Sentra got rear-ended, by a Maserati. The looks I’m vetting from drivers passing by are priceless.

  35. Oh, sorry to hear this S&M! Probably good that it’s a Maserati rather than a beat-up old clunker?

    Those questions are helpful. There is a lot I don’t know about my parents because they died when I was a kid, but I have learned some things in dribs and drabs over the years. We have tentatively planned a mini family reunion later this year and I always learn a little more each time I get a chance to visit with family members. I’ll keep these questions in mind. I always relish getting as many details as possible.

    Some family “secrets” are actually commonly known among members but are not discussed except in hushed tones with one or two other people. Thinking about this makes me realize I have “secrets” from my upbringing and younger years that I’ve never shared with my kids, if only to spare them the trauma of hearing all of it while they were still children. Now that they are adults I should tell them so they hear it from me now rather than from a random old relative at my funeral. However, I’ll have to think about how I should spring some of this on them.

  36. “rear-ended, by a Maserati”

    You reading this, PTM?? Saac, you having any neck pain?

  37. My kids think the stories they hear from their grandparents are a bit weird and having heard the gist of life in the home country they can guess some of the endings. My life, school and college in a big city was fairly “modern” because from the 80s on, the opening of the country resulted in a huge wave of modernization and catching up. Micheal Jackson was so popular and many of my friends got the Princess Di haircut (they also passed around picture books of the royal wedding, which were still hard to get a hold of).
    It’s strange how life is. I was the one who was least expected to move away but I did. Others in my extended family did as well, resulting in a scattering of my cousins across continents.

  38. My dad was somewhere off Vietnam when I was born (on a ship) so my Tutu drove my mother to the hospital. I think it was another month or month and a half before he was home.

    Re shotgun weddings, around college age I learned that my paternal grandmother’s older sister had married her husband only because she was dating him on the rebound after a breakup with the guy she really liked, and she got pregnant. So there they were fifty years later, still married and not the happiest couple. My father, whose aunt this was, hadn’t actually known this until my grandmother told my mother (her DIL), apparently because she felt it necessary to explain why her sweet sister was married to such a jerk!

    My kids’ favorite family story is probably the tale of my sister and the fountain. This took place in Burlington Mall as we were in MA at the time (my father’s side of the family was there). I was four, my sister was two, and my brother was an infant, so my mother had her hands full with the three of us. She had that sinking feeling that most of us know, when you suddenly realize that you’re short a child, and she looked up to see at a short distance her two year old daughter, naked and dripping wet, streaking across the mall followed by a security guard clutching a pile of clothing and shouting, “Wait, little girl!”

    Yes, she had stripped off and gone swimming in the fountain. The amazing thing is that years later at that same mall with her own toddler daughter and my mother, she looked at the fountain and commented on how refreshing it looked and how tempting to just go into it. My mother’s eyes widened with horror and she said, “Don’t you know? It’s the *same fountain*!”

  39. “The car! OMG!’

    RMS, Rhett, that car is to die for!

    Oh, to be able to pull up to my new house in The Villages in that!


  40. Yawn, Milo. Folks get rear ended nearly weekly in the parking lot of my son’s school.

    Still, I’m glad S&M and Issac are okay. Not fun.

  41. PTM – Check out the Lincoln. 34k original miles. pristine.

    Morbid, but it’s got a real JFK look to it, which makes sense.

  42. I ruined it. Sigh.

    I meant to say, “Folks get rear ended by Mases nearly weekly in the parking lot of my son’s school.

    It’s true.

  43. For the first time, I’m getting into March Madness. DH’s school won an upset yesterday, and DS’ school won today.

  44. I was thinking this would be more appropriate as the Official State Car of the Villages.

  45. The Gator Head would be great, Rhett, although I’d have to get a MAGA, too. That’s a step too far for me, but the car would be great if I were driving it. Sitting in the back would be too pretentious, unless I suppose, in some circles, my elderly wife (haven’t met her yet!) were driving it.

  46. Aaargh. March Madness is on in the background, and I just heard “and the Bisons are back in front.”

    I guess Jim Nantz doesn’t know that the plural of “bison” is, “bison.”

  47. I guess Jim Nantz doesn’t know that the plural of “bison” is, “bison.”

    Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

    My kids used to love that one.

  48. We have the standard family secrets, e.g., the distant cousin who got pregnant at 16 (something that apparently has just repeated itself, based on FB pics I was checking out last night). There are a couple of secrets that I know and keep because they would be hurtful to people not involved and could injure current relationships needlessly (e.g., make someone think badly of a parent based on something that happened 40-50 years ago).

  49. BTW, I am always amused that the mascot of the Colorado Buffaloes is a bison, not a buffalo.

    The Florida Gators putting a photo of a crocodile on the cover of their media guide was also amusing.

  50. “My dad was somewhere off Vietnam when I was born (on a ship) so my Tutu drove my mother to the hospital.”

    I’m sure everyone knows what I wondered when I first read this sentence, but I’ll say it anyway… If you were born on a ship, that suggests your mom also was on that ship, so how did your Tutu drive your mom to the hospital? Was is a hospital ship that was in port?

    I assume your dad was on a ship, and you were born in a hospital that was not on a ship.

  51. “You mean, other than that my mother was probably really uncomfortable? Or does that mean “what was happening in the wider world on that day”? Or what?”

    Thanks for asking so I didn’t have to.

  52. “And, funny thing, my 11 yo likes it now and watches it regularly.”

    Not a surprise. It was a very good show.

    Do they ever watch together? It’s a great opportunity for them to connect.

  53. “Do they ever watch together? It’s a great opportunity for them to connect.”

    Sadly, my grandfather (the one who loved MASH) was called home to the angels almost 30 years ago.

  54. When we were in TX recently, we went to the LBJ ranch. They have a bunch of the Johnson’s old cars out there – he was fond of Lincolns. Made me think of PTM.

    @July – That’s the thing. I assume my brothers were eventually told some of these family secrets, but I don’t really know. No one ever talks about it. And how do you even bring it up?

  55. So our little nuclear family’s biggest secret that only DW & I know (but you guys all do from prior posts) is that I was laid off when I “changed jobs” ~15yrs ago. At the time our kids were 9, 7, and 4. They wouldn’t really understand at those ages and probably the older two would have been worried until things got right again. So we decided then that we’d just muscle thru that time and hopefully I’d land something before my salary continuance ran out. Since things worked out that way, it has never seemed important enough to bring up. Now, 10+ years in to this current gig, not the one I found when still on severance, (1) it probably wouldn’t be a big deal to talk about it but (2) what’s the point of bringing it up out of the blue? “oh, by the way guys, there’s been something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about for the past x years.” Probably I’ll just keep it in my bag of tricks for potential future use if some job/career disruption happens in my kids’ lives.

  56. You reading this, PTM?? Saac, you having any neck pain?

    Lol, DS is so much more worldly than I was at his age. His first comment was “jackpot!”

    Folks get rear ended by Mases nearly weekly in the parking lot of my son’s school

    Who’s driving? Isaac says he heard this young man saying into the phone “no, we weren’t listening to music or anything. I swear!” Pops and I eventually got on the phone together and agreed to settle it between ourselves. He says he owned a body shop for 15 years, knows people in the business and could have a new bumper put on and painted or reimburse me for the invoice at a body shop I choose. Now I’m wondering, though, if it makes sense to fix it. It’s a 2010 Sentra with 84k and brand new AC. I was hoping to sell it for $5k this summer. I could take it to a couple used car lots to see what they think it’s worth or would be worth with the bumper intact, and ask him to pay the difference. I assume the prospect of increased insurance premiums for a 20-yr-old guy driving a Maserati if I didnreport it will give me a little leverage, whichever route I choose to go.

  57. March 18, 1818, we all obviously had ancestors alive then. But I don’t know anyone who knows anything about them, what their lives were like, their triumphs and tragedies, etc. At best you could find a census entry or a ships manifest but that’s really all that remains unless that person was fairly prominent.

    But what about the future? March 16, 2218 for example. With data storage so cheap and getting cheaper, I wonder if our decendants will be able to pull up our old cloud storage accounts and social media posts and get a sense of our lives? In our children’s case their great great great grandchildren might be able to follow their ancestors’ entire lives from sonogram till death.

  58. “He says he owned a body shop for 15 years”

    Another non-Totebagger who did OK for himself.

  59. and ask him to pay the difference.

    Oh no! You’d likely get much more money from the cost of the repair. But you’re under no obligation to fix the car he (or his insurance company) just has to give you the money to fix it. You can do whatever you want with the money.

  60. Fred, your conclusion is what I was thinking as I read that post—that isn’t the kind of thing your offspring must know, but could be useful in discussions with them as they look for jobs, face periods of unemployment, consider career moves that have some risk, or even if they just feel at some point that they could never measure up to you.

  61. I really regret that I didn’t record my grandmother because I have already forgotten so many of the things that she told me. She died last year and I wish I knew more since I had her in my life until I was 50.

    DD had to do several school projects and she learned a lot about both of our families. I found out some fascinating stuff about DH family through these projects. I just wish I knew this BEFORE some of these relatives passed away 4 or 5 years ago. They were survivors of numerous concentration camps and I never even knew this about their background. One of his uncles wrote a small book as a project about their family and the story of they found their grandmother after WW!! was fascinating, and it is in writing with copies of travel documents etc.

    My grandmother was the youngest of nine, but the cousins were very close even though they were separated by many years. My mother and my aunt still keep in touch with a lot of their cousins so they continue to share stories about my great grandparents.

    We try to share as much as possible with DD. There are times when we have a captive audience and she does seem to be absorbing the information. She is an only with very few first cousins so we have to try to get this information into her brain.

  62. Rhett, good point. The decisions re whether to repair the car or not and how much to ask for from this guy don’t have to be linked. But I would feel better having some basis for the figure I request besides extortion.

  63. But I would feel better having some basis for the figure I request besides extortion.

    Just swing by a body shop and get an estimate. They have software that does it so it only takes a few minutes.

  64. In my family we have a lot of private items. Private things start with Dad or Grandad visited prostitutes on R&R during his service. Auntie had several abortions before she got married. Uncle spent a year in jail when he was 19. There was a mid life infidelity episode in a long married couple’s life that they got past. Secrets seem to me to be of the ilk, my mom’s change of life baby is actually my sister’s kid – nephew, not my brother. Or one of the children in a marriage is not biologically Dad’s. There are also things that are beyond secrets, but rather crimes, such as incest.

  65. Rhett, I tried to do that this afternoon, but the body shop my insurance company has sent me to in the past appears to have relocated.

  66. SM – not for nuthin’ but why take on any risk? By that I mean, let’s say you go to the best body shop in your area and they quote you $x. So you tell Pops you need $x or 1.5$x or whatever number you’re comfortable with. If you really decide you don’t want to have the work done, then you can cash the check. But if you get tired of looking at that dent/scratch or figure out that the car doesn’t quite drive right and decide to have the work done, once they get into the job they might find something that wasn’t apparent when they quoted your job and so it’s really going to cost the full full amount or more that you settled “out of court” for. You pay the insurance company, the crash was not your fault so the claim won’t go on your record; IMO you should involve your insurance, let them fight the fight for you, get the car fixed properly and then sell it later if you want. Or maybe you’ll decide it can now go another year or whatever. Good luck!

  67. When I read the Psychology Today article a few weeks ago, my mind went straight to the antecdoges from his childhood that my dad told me as bedtimes stories. Things like the “rubber guns” they made (of wood) to shoot each other with giant rubber bands made from inner tube slices, the neighbor crabbng at them, how delicious his grandma’s hot buttered beets were, weekends with his cousins on their farms. I know very few such stories of my mother’s childhood. I do recall being impressed at her ice skating, and learning that she and her friends skated up & down frozen rivers in Wisconsin, stopping at warming houses along the way. I know she had a hs bf and has always had a group of friends. That’s about it.

    I learned within the last few years that my grandpa came home from work one day early, because there was no work because there was no more company to run the garage. The cashier had stolen the till and run off, and that was that.

    Big, scandolous stuff is in the eye of the beholder. My mother may find it scandolous that one of my cousins on my dad’s side is divorced, and she certainly finds it scandolous that she has lived with someone for longer than it’s taken to raise a child who’s now finishing colllege. I’m not sure if she knows that my cousin on her side discovered she was pregnant when her older two were around MS age, and had an abortion.

    I think I’ve told my way-back stories on here already. There is a statue somewhere in Boston to a relative who was captured by natives, escaped, and took the scalps of several children and maybe a couple adults before she left. Heinous. Boggles my mind that a sister is proud of that. On a lighter note, a relative came to the US, got himself established, and sent for his beloved, in the type of chain migration America grew from. He received a telegram with info about a ship, went to meet it at the dock and saw, stepping off the boat, his beloved’s sister, great with child. He married her and I don’t believe he ever saw his intended again.

    The house my father grew up in had been purchased by his grandfather, and stayed in the family until my cousins sold it a few years ago. The woman who bought it (with her husband) is very interested in the history of the house and town, and tells us things she discovers about our family. I think it’s cool.

  68. S&M – I agree with Fred. Sometimes the regular way is the best way. But even if you go the informal way, If you plan to sell the car fairly soon (not sure why unless you move to a pedestrian city), you will have to fix the bumper. You will lose more on the price for a year old unattended repair than the benefit check you deposit. If they guy offers you 4 times what the repair is worth, there is something fishy about the young man’s use of that car that perhaps you don’t want to get involved in, so I would take the check. However, I am sure the driver described you and saac pretty well and his dad thought you would prefer the unorthodox route.

  69. Thanks Fred. Do you think “half the car’s dollar value” is a reasonable guess for the repair cost?

  70. “^antecdotes.”

    Those are what come before the dotes. :)

    “a relative came to the US, got himself established, and sent for his beloved, in the type of chain migration America grew from. He received a telegram with info about a ship, went to meet it at the dock and saw, stepping off the boat, his beloved’s sister, great with child. He married her and I don’t believe he ever saw his intended again. ”

    Was she great with his biological child, as in, he only came over about eight months earlier, or she was just someone who came in place of the sister, needed a husband desperately, so they made do and he raised someone else’s child as his own? Did the original fiancé say to her sister “look, you need this guy more than I do right now, he’ll take care of you, he’ll be waiting at the pier, just go”?

    It’s fascinating.

  71. Meme, I proposed the unorthodox route. I have overdue tolls, and am not sure of I’m supposed to be driving right now. And yes, you are correct about the reason I’d like to sell the car. I hope to move to a pedestrian city late this summer, where a car share is the closest to owning a car I’ll ever need. But even if that doesn’t happen, if we move anywhere out of this climate and its associated pollen, do you think it would be a good move to take this car with me?

  72. March 18, 1818, we all obviously had ancestors alive then. But I don’t know anyone who knows anything about them, what their lives were like, their triumphs and tragedies, etc.

    Oh, I don’t know, one line of my husband’s family has handed down a Revolution-era story about the Hessian soldiers who were quartered with them (not with compensation!) who not only killed and cooked the family goose, but BURNT THE FEATHERS in the fireplace! Those feathers were supposed to stuff a mattress or pillow, of course. You’ve never met a family more fired up about the third amendment.

  73. Milo, as I understand it, he had been this side of the Atlantic far too long for the child to be his. She was being shuffled off before the scandal got out.

  74. Only tangentially related to this topic, but wandering through the memory unit with MIL has been fascinating. There are several TVs that seem always to be playing classic movies and music that 80-somethings would recognize is playing thru old fashioned fake radios. And there is a mock “work station” with mid-century typewriters, a baby care area, etc.
    Made me wonder about the artifacts that will adorn the memory care units we will inhabit. Will they have faux iPads and old fashioned flat screen TVs for “binge watching” Downton Abbey and The Americans? Toy iPhones and earbuds? Menus with gluten free comfort food?

  75. Saac You asked him? Then you need to get a good estimate and show it to him or let his guy fix it for you. If you ask for obviously more than it is worth he is going to suspect you of trying to shake him down or of driving without a license and tell you to stuff it.

  76. SM, glad you’re both okay.

    “IMO you should involve your insurance, let them fight the fight for you, get the car fixed properly and then sell it later if you want. Or maybe you’ll decide it can now go another year or whatever. Good luck!”

    100% this. File a claim with your own insurer, get the car fixed right, and let your insurance company collect from his. You are protected so much better this way. There’s always a chance there is more damage than the apparent body work and it’s possible for injuries to show up later.

    My experience in situations like this is the other guy’s insurance co. want to fix your car as cheaply as possible since they are paying, whereas your co. doesn’t give you a hassle about getting it fixed right because they know they will collect from the other co. It also helps that my insurer (Progressive) makes the repairs so incredibly easy.

  77. I have overdue tolls, and am not sure of I’m supposed to be driving right now.

    Has your license actually been suspended? In that case, paying $100 for legal consultation would probably be well worth the money.

  78. An amusing family story. My mother and my aunt got married within a month of each other. My aunt was to be married first. My aunt’s fiancé (my now uncle) has a well paying airline job with free tickets for wife and kids. Now, my aunt wanted to go to take advantage of my uncle’s free ticket to go wedding shopping in Hong King but she wasn’t married to him. So she and my uncle secretly got married in court. She told all of her family including her sister (my Mom) that she was going on a retreat. My grandfather would never agree to have his daughter travel with her husband without a church wedding. My Dad (my mother’s fiancé) was on their secret. He had a car and drove them to the airport. He never told my mother anything. Some people in my uncle’s family knew, so one or two older ladies asked my grandmother where her daughter was. Gone on a retreat, she said. My aunt did come home after a few days with all the silks and trimmings for her wedding dress and her bridesmaids dresses. She also bought dress material for my mother’s wedding. Whenever, anyone says “gone on a retreat” there is much smirking in my family.

  79. Louise, that’s funny! I worked with a guy who was getting married, and his fiancee lost her job about 3 months before the wedding. They figured out the cheapest way for her to get health insurance was to get married, so they went to the courthouse and got it done. They were planning on not telling their families but they did at some point before the wedding.

    In college news, DS got a letter from Oregon today that they are having an information session in town in a few weeks. They made a point of saying it is for prospective students only, I guess they are tired of the parents taking over at the meetings.

  80. I like these family stories. I confess that at some point in the not so recent past I realized that way back then many folks used to have s-e-x before marriage. Shocking. :)

  81. hey Lark – I know you’re watching the game; what’s happening?

    LOL – I believe at that very moment the Bisons were beating us and I was yelling at the TV. :)

    I guess Jim Nantz doesn’t know that the plural of “bison” is, “bison.”

    @ Finn – that may be true for the animal, but for Lipscomb’s mascot, they are actually called the Bisons. Jim Nantz had it right.

    @ Houston – I believe you and I will be cheering for different teams on Sunday!!

  82. We have awesome family stories. My grandparents on my mother’s side have an unbelievable family history. No recent immigrants – just the opposite. They were long, well-established families. Although I am born and raised in the South, and my family has been here for a long time, we are not originally Southern. I am the first native. My great-grandparents’ names would be recognized by some of our regular contributors.

    My great-grandmother in particular was an amazing person. Wow, the stories and truly the epitome of class.

  83. “they are actually called the Bisons”

    Wow. Great advertising for their English department.

  84. @ Finn – it’s actually a fun trivia game to get people to try to name (without googling!!) how many teams have a singular mascot vs. a plural one. There are very few. E.g., the Wolfpack, the Cardinal.

  85. Meme, I suggested we handle it ourselves in order to avoid the wait for the accident report. No conclusion was reached as to exactly how we would proceed. I obviously can’t float up with a crazy number and demand he pay it. But I can be every bit as sceptical of him as you’re saying he might be of me. He wouldn’t tell me the name of the shop he says he ran for 15 years or the places he’d have the work done, other than that he “knows people in the business” and has “friends all over this”.

  86. Louise, that’s a sweet story. I particularly like the reason for their “retreat”. And thanks for wishing Isaac and me well. I couldn’t help but think of the last time somebody rear-ended us. It was very upsetting to him. I was sitting in the left turn lane and someone who hadn’t noticed that it was a turn lane plowed into me at 30-40 mph. He seemed to get over it a week or two later, but still was hyper-vigilant in the car. About 1.5 years ago he started to really get on me if I wasn’t the first person off the line at the light or let “too much” space get between me and the car ahead of us in stop & go traffic. I finally asked him what the deal was: “I don’t want someone to hit us again!” Poor kid. So today, I loved to hear him cracking jokes about how much the other driver is going to be in trouble at home, what his dad was saying/would say, etc. This might’ve wiped away any lingering concern over last time.

  87. Finn, sounds like they know exactly what they are doing. In reference to the animals, they use the form you told us is plural, along with a plural verb. For the made-up mascot, they use the plural they made up.

  88. “how many teams have a singular mascot vs. a plural one.”

    And then there are the names that are neither singular nor plural.

    Heat, Thunder, Jazz, Crimson….

  89. What about Cornell….Big Red? It is two words, but does that count as a singular mascot?

    My school is out of the tourney this year, and I am suffering because DH is an alum of a perennial contender. I can’t stand his team.

  90. Lark, part of my mom’s family has been here that long too. They came over a few boats after the Mayflower. There is a body of water near where the ship landed that has their last name. I’ve never investigated if it is in fact named after that family.

  91. “sounds like they know exactly what they are doing.”

    Yes, apparently they’ve been asked many times about that issue. I tried to post a link to an article, but apparently it got munched.

  92. Denver, the idea of a legal consultation scares me. I’ve had to hire a lawyer just a couple times, and chose poorly each time. If I go through insurance, I expect my company (same company that runs the bank Milo & I use) would have me go to a good shop and get his insurance to pay them back. The one I tried to go to today is the one they used the last two times this happened. If I find out that they are closed & didn’t just move, then I will go through insurance, because I trust this company to know body shops better than I do.

  93. Finn, I agree with Kleinedler‘s argument in that article. I’m glad you found it. It lays this issue to rest (and could serve as a cautionary tale to anyone getting carried away with their own correctitude in the future).

  94. I loved all these stories. I am really into genealogy, so am collecting family stories. DS likes to hear the story of my grandpop coming to the US. He was a guard at Dublin Castle, and frequently was in the company of General Tudor. This was in 1921-ish, and the IRA wanted him to kill Tudor. My grandpop had no desire, and refused. His brother Frank tipped him off that the IRA was going to kill him for refusing, so he left for the US. (He bet the ponies before he left, won, and was able to pay for private steerage on the trip). The IRA knew Frank tipped him off, so he had to leave as well, and held it against my Grandpop forever. Frank remarried and had a family here, despite having a wife and kids in Ireland. No one ever used the word bigamy or talked about it. I have a file of “letters home to Ireland” that their mother kept as many of the siblings emigrated, all to Philly. The thing that stuck with me the most was the opening line of “This is my annual letter”. I cannot imagine my kids moving away and our only contact being one letter a year. There are funny stories on both sides of my family from prohibition days, with the daughters being made to run into the bathroom and pretend to be bathing when I don’t know who came to the door, because they kept the liquor in the tub. My grandmother’s family must have been comfortable, because she had a car at 18 in 1920. There is alcoholism running through all the branches of the family – apparently we came over and lived down to every Irish stereotype. Oh – and when my mom was having my brother – they treated her horribly. She was a very petite, very young-looking 25, and the nurses thought she was a pregnant teen and basically shunned her until my dad got there.

    The best stories are from DH’s side. Their dad dropped out of school in 8th grade to go to work, and was pretty brilliant with machinery, but also had some pretty crazy ideas. DH and his brother can’t even get the stories out because they’re laughing so hard they’re crying. Their family got their land in the Oklahoma land run, and gradually portioned it out and sold it off, dwindling down to the handful of lots they have left. The city sprawl encompassed them, and the area is really run down. His brother is the last family member living on the property, and he is trying to sell. It will be a shame when that happens (but not enough of a shame for me to consider buying!)

  95. @Louise – I agree with Rhett. Your stories about the home country are one of the best things about this blog.

    This just reminded me too how I was grumbling about driving downstate to go to a family reunion last year, but in the end, it was absolutely awesome to talk to my relatives. My great aunt who was in the WAC in WWII was telling us all about her time in Northern Africa and Italy during the war and sharing pictures of her honor flight last year. She was extremely proud that she was both the only woman AND the only vet that actually served overseas during the war. And my cousin had done a bunch of family research, and brought albums and scrapbooks. He also had traveled back to Poland to visit some long lost cousins and had some great photos and stories about the recent eras.

  96. My mother’s sister recently told me a couple of things about my dad’s romantic past. She said that she thought I was old enough that I might find the stories interesting rather than painful (true). One story was that as a very young man in the old country, my dad had been very much in love with with a young woman, and was planning to marry her. But then WWII came, the old country was occupied by the Nazis, life was desperate for the natives, and his beloved died. Another thing my aunt told me was that before he met my mother, my dad (now living in the U.S.) had been dating some woman. He broke up with her soon before meeting my mother. Apparently, the ex-girlfriend became very jealous when my parents got engaged, and started acting a bit unhinged, to the point where my parents decided to hire a security guard to man the door of the church on their wedding day, to make sure that the ex didn’t try to sneak in and disrupt the ceremony.

  97. Another story was that my Dad was “friendly” with my mother’s cousin. It was the cousins 21st birthday and he had been invited. My mother’s cousin was hoping to make it official that she was seeing him. But my Dad had just opened his own business and it was hard for him to make the party in time, he was tired so he didn’t go. The cousin was very put out and that was the end of that. I have learnt that there were lots of people in my parents wide circle of friends and relatives who were dating but either they fell out, had some sort of impediment in the way and ultimately they got married to someone else in that big circle. My cousin’s MIL used to date her Dad (my uncle).

  98. Meme, I suggested we handle it ourselves in order to avoid the wait for the accident report.

    You don’t need to wait for the report to get it fixed if you go through insurance, you just need the report number when you open the claim (and I’m not sure you even need that) was . When I had my last accident, I called progressive that evening and opened a claim. An adjuster called me back the next morning and asked when I wanted to bring the car in. I said “as soon as possible.” He said “how about this afternoon?” Unfortunately I couldn’t get there until the following morning, and a week later I had my car back.

    I did have to pay the deductible since it was my insurer but I got it back about a month later aftwr they settled with the other insurer.

  99. Lauren, I feel you. My DH also went to a perennial contender and we are at their first round games, which is something we do most years. My school is also in the tournament, and is a rival of his school. But we are not a reliable tournament team. My DS also graduated from DH’s school so I even root for them now. Unless they are playing my school. I do love March Madness.

  100. Holy crap, is anyone watching the UVa/UMBC game? GO RETRIEVERS!

    Speaking of things I never thought I’d say!

  101. Yes, cannot believe the UVA game. This will become a trivia question – who is the only 1 seed to lose to a 16….and a play-in 16 at that!!

  102. Laura – I immediately thought of you when I got off the plane and saw that the Retrievers beat Virginia! I love upsets….when it isn’t my team being beat.

  103. Oops sorry. UMBC was not a play-in 16. I apparently misremembered seeing them play earlier this week – that was last weekend. There’s a lot of basketball on in my house.

  104. That was a fun game to watch!

    I have no horse in this race – I went to a DIII school, DH went to state flagship & they have been irrelevant in college B.B. for awhile. (It was much fun when they almost won it all about 10 years ago though.) But I love this weekend – it’s just so much fun.

    DS is currently winning the extended family bracket contest. 2 people had UVA, and one had Arizona going far. He didn’t miss much in the 1st round which was fun to see for his sake.

  105. Amazing game…it was like watching a clinic. This is why I still love this tournament even when my school isn’t in the tourney. It’s even more fun to watch because I have no worries, and can just enjoy the games.

  106. Okay, that explains this on FB:
    The last time Virginia took it this hard, they were running toward a little stone wall in Gettysburg.

  107. So question – do most people’s workplaces have March Madness pools? It bothers me that my law firm does when it’s illegal in MA.

  108. I once won my MM pool when I worked at a US bank. I think many firms look the other way when people buy a box in a super bowl pool or participate in MM. I did say something when my team used to book the conference room at a bank and meet from 5 – until the wee hours of the night to elect their fantasy football teams. This was before all of the smart phones and technology that would allow them to do this remotely, so they used to meet once a year to do the selection. I guess the conference room as the easiest and most convenient place to meet.

  109. Do you know what went on when you were being born?

    You mean, other than that my mother was probably really uncomfortable? Or does that mean “what was happening in the wider world on that day”? Or what?

    My son knows a little of each—a couple funny stories about the birth itself and that when we had to go back to the hospital when he was just a couple days old, because of jaundice, the cafeteria was closed, we were hungry, and my mother refused to go pick up food because she was terrified of the sniper who had plagued the DC area for a couple of weeks. We ordered pizza. The delivery driver was not shot. Beyond that sniper, *I* don’t really remember what was going on in the world at that time, so neither does he.

  110. I caused my parents to miss a certain TV event that is still referenced in pop culture.

    Oh, that’s going to bug me. Please say it wasn’t OJ. That would just make me feel too old!

    “In the 1970s father’s weren’t allowed in the delivery room”.

    Tell me about it! My dad had delivered babies, had been present at my sister’s birth and to this day can get angry over the fact that he was not permitted to be there when I was born.

  111. “So question – do most people’s workplaces have March Madness pools?”

    I’ve had one everywhere I’ve worked, but the buy in has never been much. $10 this year.

    My company also had the games on in the elevator banks, the lobby, and in the big “shared work”/gathering area. Yesterday, they also got a keg of green beer & brought in bagpipers at 4pm. So maybe I’ve forgotten what it’s like to work somewhere more “corporate”.

  112. L, what’s the mit you’re giving your parents? I’ve tried over the last few years to ask questions that get the stories flowing when we are with my parents. Sometimes it works and happy stories flow out; other times Mom gives tight-lipped, perfunctory answers. She asked recently why I want to know this stuff and relaxed a little when I explained. I wonder if they would use a kit when we weren’t around.

  113. JR got shot. I’m fine with that.

    I have a headache today. Might be allergies or dehydration. I’m leaning much more towards the conventional route, but do need tonchecknon the status of my lisence.

  114. Man, I don’t know when I will ever see something like that again. DH and I went to our favorite nearby beer-and-scotch bar and were doing exactly what you’d expect for a game like that, e.g., “come on, get the first basket so you can say you led the #1 team!” Cheering for every basket, groaning at the (many) bricks. We couldn’t believe they were tied at halftime – I even said, dang, they managed to play them even despite shooting for total crap, if they could have hit anything they’d be up by 15! And then we went home.

    Of course we watched on the app on the way home and kept saying, holy cow, they’re up by 6, and laughing because it was so improbable, and what else do you do when the impossible seems to be happening? And then somehow, in the time it took to say goodnight to DD and get upstairs, they were somehow up by 14. !!! I almost couldn’t watch the rest of the game. because I started to think that they might actually pull it off, and of course hope is a dangerous thing. By 10 minutes I was playing on the iPad and looking up for baskets. Then it was 5 minutes, and then two minutes, and I put the iPad down and realized that, holy cow, they were actually going to do it. I literally thought to myself, “did I fall asleep? Am I sure I’m not actually dreaming? Because this cannot be happening.” And then I wished we had stayed at the bar, because boy would it have been fun to share that with the guys in the UMBC jackets.

    The only sad part is that Virginia is the team I was really rooting for to take it all. But, you know, I’ll take it. :-). The funny thing is that DH and DS went to a game last month, and DH said he didn’t really think they looked that good!

    Even today I almost don’t know what to say. I mean, they’re the little school two miles away that’s best known for their chess team; we go watch them because it’s close and low-key and fun, not because we actually expect athletic prowess. And now they are in the history books.

  115. Ps – in all the excitement I forgot to say hope you guys are ok, SM, and sorry that happened to you.

  116. Laura, you need to check out the UMBC Athletics twitter feed. It’s freaking awesome from the start of the game through this morning.

  117. I have a Facebook friend who’s a student at UMBC. His page has been lots of fun.

    Thanks Laura. We are fine.

  118. I’ve been busy at work so just reading now. I enjoy hearing everyone’s stories.

    Our family story is that we ended up in MN because my great great grandfather, who loved in Missouri, fought for the North in the Civil War and his two brothers fought for the South. After the war he moved to Minnesota. Family folklore is that the Jesse James gang stopped at the family farm for directions to Northfield.

    More recent history. My dad destroyed the letters he exchanged with my mom because he said it was too private. I was sad to learn about it but respect his decision. I wish I would know more about my dad’s upbringing. Near as I can tell his mom and home life was pretty dysfunctional yet he somehow managed to give us the most idyllic childhood.

    March Madness – every year I cheer for the 16 seed. DH didn’t want to watch basketball so I almost missed the game but my best friend texted me to see if I was watching so I caught the last 3 minutes. So exciting!

  119. It’s criminal that they make players from the losing teams go to the post-game press conferences. These are college kids, not pros, they shouldn’t have to go through this.

  120. I don’t think press avail should be required from athletes in general. If they want to do interviews, great. but it isn’t part of the game.

    We watch the NBA, so I’ve been struck by the players’ youth when we tune into tournament games. The losing team was obviously miserable here, but even the winning team seemed ill at ease being interviewed. It’s brutal, but if they’re going to required to do this as pros, this is preparation for that.

  121. I’m confused, first you say they shouldn’t be required to do the interviews, but then you say they should. Which is it?

  122. “Please say it wasn’t OJ. That would just make me feel too old! ”

    lol. That was only 24 years ago.

  123. Another amusing story. My mother lived in a multi generational household growing up. One branch of her family (the cousins) lived diagonally across the street. Adjacent to the cousins house and yard was a vacant plot of land belonging to my mother’s grand father.
    The land boundary was marked by a low wall of loose rocks.
    My mother’s grand pa was a big guy. One morning, he looks out of his window at his vacant plot of land and sees that it has grown smaller. No doubt the wicked cousins had moved the wall under the cover of darkness and taken a few meters for themselves. My great grandfather grabs his double barrel rifle and much to the horror of his entire family and pleading by his wife to calm down marches to the cousins house. Now their head of household and planner of the land grab was no where to be found, so my great grandfather made the rest of the men of the family move the rocks back (no doubt taking a few extra inches, the other way).
    My mother, these days meets the grand children of that cousin at family weddings. With a sniff, she says “that’s Jean, do you know what her grand father did ?”

  124. Denver, it’s an “if-then” thing, pure contingency.

    I don’t think anyone should have to do them, but *if* they will do them as pros, then this is practice for that.

    Is this a clearer construction?
    These should be abolished in the pro sports and at the college level, but as long as they are a part of pro sports, it makes sense for college athletes to practice them.

  125. SM, most of these kids will never play in the pros so there is no need for them to “practice” this. When pro players are getting paid millions of dollars, speaking to the media should be a required part of the job (which it is). When the NCAA continues to insist the players shouldn’t be paid despite of the billions of dollars they generate for the colleges and the NCAA, then forcing them to do these press conferences is just cruel.

  126. Only 1% to 1.5% of DI basketball players will make it to the NBA. So there’s really no need to force them to go through these interviews so they can practice for when they are in the pros.

  127. Denver, I agree with you on college athletes & the NCAA.

    I know that most college BB players won’t go pro, but isn’t it safe to assume that a majority of college players have that goal and are training for it, and that those who have been recruited by top programs and get into the tournament are more likely to go pro than average?

    At the pro level, however, I don’t see how being paid for the job should necessarily entail a new component being added to it. If they want to be interviewed, fine. Maybe the media could pay them, or teams could include the option of extra pay for a few speakers.

  128. I don’t see how being paid for the job should necessarily entail a new component being added to it.

    There are a lot of compenents to my job that I would decline if I were volunteering.

  129. Yes the media is part of the job from the get go and frankly they want to participate in it because it builds the recognition for second tier star level for endorsements. They don’t just get paid for playing, they are paid to be representatives for their team and their league.

  130. Related to last discussions
    Dietary protein supplementation significantly enhanced changes in muscle strength and size during prolonged RET in healthy adults. Increasing age reduces and training experience increases the efficacy of protein supplementation during RET.

  131. HM. you’re saying the NCAA athletes are essentially volunteers?

    UTL, that’s the way they are used, but it doesn’t make sense. They are promoted and hired on the basis of playing skills. Have you ever heard of a pro athlete taken off the team because they didn’t do well at media avail? No one pretends it is part of those decisions. I don’t think it makes sense to require it from them. There are plenty of athletes who enjoy it—why can’t they represent the team, perhaps with a small bonus?

  132. I took classes with some of basketball players. During the four years that I attended, the BB team was one of the top ranked program in the country. Ten players from this period went on to play in the NBA. It was also a VERY different time because the players used to stay for four years, and graduate with a degree. One player even stayed and got his MBA before going to the pros.

    The players took the same classes as us, and we actually had a chance to get to know them because they also lived in the same dorms. My freshman year, I took an elective with a player that became a top pick in the NBA draft. Some of the these players were articulate and they could speak to the press if required. Others were actually shy and could barely speak in class, and i can’t imagine what it would have been like for them to have to appear at these press conferences. These guys are just like our kids that we write about on the Totebag everyday. Some are outgoing, and would probably be very comfortable in front of camera. For other kids, it is probably terrifying to have to face a row of cameras and lights. I wish that schools would go back to the way it used to be 25+ years ago when just the coaches were required to deal with the press.

  133. We are watching. great game. I hate the orange, but DH wants them to win because he thinks they might be a weaker opponent for Duke. He is a big Duke fan.

  134. I know that most college BB players won’t go pro, but isn’t it safe to assume that a majority of college players have that goal and are training for it, and that those who have been recruited by top programs and get into the tournament are more likely to go pro than average?

    No, most of them are very realistic and know they are not going to play in the NBA. Like Laura, I went to a major DI school and I had classes with some of the basketball and football players. They knew college was as far as they were going.

    At the pro level, however, I don’t see how being paid for the job should necessarily entail a new component being added to it. If they want to be interviewed, fine. Maybe the media could pay them, or teams could include the option of extra pay for a few speakers.

    It’s 100% part of the job of a pro athlete to talk to the media, and they all know it going in. It’s also part of the “job” for college players as well. My point, that seems to have gotten lost, is the college kids should get a pass immediately following a devastating loss. Let them wait until the next day to talk to the media.

  135. It’s terrible. A complete blow out, and after we looked so good the first 5 minutes. We seem completely flustered by their bigs!

  136. I don’t know how people enjoy watching basketball. Too stressful. Football is more my speed

  137. It is not stressful if it isn’t your school, AND if you are not in a pool. It is so exciting. We just watched the end of Nevada- Cinci. Unbelievable ending. so exciting.

  138. My DD had to fill out brackets as part of a Nath assignment :-), DH helped her and the first bracket was off, when DH picked Virginia.

  139. DD, yes, I realize that the job is defined that way currently. I don’t think it should be.

    I don’t relate to people getting stressed over watching sports. It’s fun to watch, and rooting for one side of the other fan make it more fun, but when people are too “raw” to talk about it the next day, that’s just too much.

  140. SM, DS2 feels the same way. We are forcing him to watch about 15 minutes of sports here and there, and learn about March Madness as a way of fitting in with people. Similarly, we require him to know the basics of football and be able to speak about it for a few minutes without talking about how stupid he thinks the whole thing is.

  141. He is a big Duke fan.

    Ha ! Did he go there ? The way people look at you here, if you admit to any Duke affiliation is comical. Like you belong to the Evil Empire of Storm Troopers.

  142. We are forcing him to watch about 15 minutes of sports here and there, and learn about March Madness as a way of fitting in with people. Similarly, we require him to know the basics of football and be able to speak about it for a few minutes without talking about how stupid he thinks the whole thing is.

    This is very sensible. My FIL never cared about sports, but to get along at work, he took to watching some ESPN half-hour summary show so he would be able to engage in conversations with coworkers.

  143. Houston, our kids have had decent exposure to sports, but ITA that being conversant in the local sports obsession is important for boys. It does give common ground when you can at least feign awareness of what interests other people, and can be a great ice-breaker when the topic of the weather has been exhausted. At least, this works for relating to men. I have yet to meet a new female acquaintance who really wanted to talk about the team.

    BITD, I used to watch The Guiding Light so that I would have something to talk about with MIL, who was addicted. Then I became addicted. When I was in law school at the university Louise mentioned, the student center had two TV rooms, and at 3 pm one room was designated for The Guiding Light and the other for General Hospital. It was so much more fun watching with a group, especially when a major character was about to do something really stupid because he didn’t realize that his new paramour was actually his long-lost amnesiac sister.

  144. I work in a heavy male dominated field and having sports knowledge is absolutely an ice breaker for me. I just spent 15 minutes talking to a sales rep about the Tourney (yesterday was rough for me). Last week the talk was all about the new QB, and since he is an alum of the school I went to, I could add lots of comments, even though I don’t like NFL. I actually get along better in casual conversation with men than I do with women.

  145. I used to watch The Guiding Light

    I once read that having ran for 72 years and 18,262 episodes, a show like The Guiding Light will be considered of great historical and cultural value in 500 or 1000 years.

  146. Houston, are you going to try to make him tear his hair out over it? I understand sports just fine, tyvm. My point, if you read to the end of that post, is that some people are entirely too attached to “their” teams. I would be very surprised if you were forcing your son into an unhealthy state like that.

  147. When going through my mom’s house right after she passed we found her high school yearbook and saw that she was on the basketball team. WHAT? Grammy played basketball? How could that be possible? She was the least sports inclined person you could imagine. We like to tease each other in our family and that little snippet was a golden nugget that we could have used for decades if we had only known!

    Christmas Eve was always the biggest holiday on her side of the family. This past holiday, knowing that she was ill, my aunt did an impromptu roast of mom. Some great stories came out and we got to see mom laugh harder than we’ve probably ever seen. I haven’t watched the video yet, not quite ready to do that yet, I will need to watch it alone.

    From that we learned that my maternal grandfather borrowed the money for a cottage from his FIL. Grandfather ran a dairy farm so he could never go away on vacation, but a cottage 25 miles away where his wife and children could summer and he could visit on the weekends made sense. That’s the cottage we still have today that I love so much. It amazed me that we didn’t know this story. We have heard many stories about what a wonderful man he was, this one reinforced it. He truly wanted his wife and kids to enjoy themselves.

    While writing mom’s obituary my brothers and I had some interesting discussion regarding how much our mother loved and missed her own father, and how different that was from our father, who passed when we were ages 19, 14 & 9. Ours was not a great father. And the more we thought about it, he was a lousy husband. More than once mom said, “well, he never hit me.” Not something you think about as a kid but as an adult you realize that’s NOT high praise.

  148. Swim, so often we comment that the recently deceased “should” have heard the love poured out for them after their death. How wonderful that your mother could do that, and your whole family could laugh together. I’m sorry for your loss.

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