Happy 96th Birthday Grandpa!!!

Grandpa turns 96 today!  We are celebrating with a small dinner at a nice restaurant with just the 4 of us (Mom, Dad, me, and Grandpa).  We had a whole big family thing last year for 95, but this year we get to be more lowkey.  However, I do feel like I should do SOMETHING, and so I am getting him this lovely blog post.  That he will probably not read.  But oh well, I know it’s there.

Grandpa grew up in a combined household for the first 8 years of his life, complete with a family home in the country that they all went to for holidays.


He grew up in the city and was kind of a cool teenager, all his friends used to pile into his car and drive over to the Aragon Ballroom for the dances.  Just like this, except without drinking (Grandpa doesn’t drink) and with big band music and suit coats (you weren’t allowed in without a jacket).

One of those friends was Uncle Pat, his best friend since he was 8 years old.  He’ll be coming up again.

And then he went off to college, a different school than Uncle Pat, and met my Grandma on a blind date when they were both 18, a couple of months after school started.  She brought a loaf of bread she had just made in her cooking class to their first date, he bought them a coke, and they split the bread.  And fell in love.  It was exactly like this, except without the love triangle and with bread instead of a guitar.


They had an actual wedding, which is notable in my family since we are big on elopements, but it was a very hurried wedding because Grandpa only had a 48 hour leave and they only had a week’s notice that he was coming.  But somehow it all came together, complete with family coming in from out of town, bridesmaids, church, fancy wedding dress, whole deal.  Only slightly less elaborate than this.


And then Grandpa went off to fly planes in the Army Air Corps.  He looked almost nothing like this, although he also had a flight suit and cool flight guy sunglasses.  And Grandma was in nursing school, not a dancer.  But otherwise, identical!


And then he came back and they bought a house and had a baby (my aunt) and so on and so on.  But, before all that, remember Uncle Pat?  Who I promised would come up again?  My Grandpa had a little sister who always was kind of around.  And at some point, she stopped being just his little sister and she and Uncle Pat fell in love.  Very filmi, your best friend falling in love with your little sister.  It was just like this, except that Uncle Pat wasn’t a movie star.


And combined family part two!  Best friends since childhood are now brother-in-laws, all the kids grow up together, it’s all the best of times.  Just like in a southern movie, except without the flirtation because they are all cousin-brother/sisters, not just cousins.


Oh, did I mention he was also an engineer?


And then the kids grew up and moved out and there was the long slow wait for ME!  Or, more generally, grandchildren.  Grandpa has 5 granddaughters, and it makes him sooooo happy.  Part of the reason it’s really hard for me to grasp the whole way sex preference works in Indian society is that the “Patriarch” of my family was all “woo-hoo!  Another girl!  I will have tea parties with them all and play dolls and be all happy when we walk down the street together!”  This kind of thing, except with 5 little girls instead of one little boy.


And now Grandpa is 96.  Of course, the downside of turning 96 is that you are very lonely since pretty much everyone I just mentioned in his life earlier in this post is no longer alive.


But now he is turning 96, and at least the next generation is still here!  The little bit of family that is in town, and the family that is out of town half of which visited two weeks ago, and the other half of which is coming to town next week.  So he gets spread out celebrations.


21 thoughts on “Happy 96th Birthday Grandpa!!!

    • I’m in charge of Grandpa’s Netflix queue, so he gets Indian stuff occasionally. He really really liked Jodha-Akbar (“the one with the elephants”), so I gave him that on DVD for Christmas a couple years back. Let’s see, I think I also sent him Talaash, Jab Tak Hain Jaan. Oh! And he saw Dhoom 3 in theaters because it filmed in Chicago so he was curious.

      And as a boy, one of his favorite movies was the classic version of The Four Feathers. But that’s a different kind of Indian film. I should really send him Mangal Panday, so he gets both sides.

      On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 10:38 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



        • He got confused, because he didn’t catch that it was a flashback in the middle. We should try again though, maybe with Bahubali 2 which is a little more chronologically straight forward. But yes, we thought it would be the perfect Grandpa movie! Elephants, fight scenes, all kinds of good stuff.

          The one I really want him to see is The Ghazi Attack because he looooooooooooooooooves submarine movies.

          On Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 10:45 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, I wonder at what point did bro code change since then so that friend’s sister is always off limits no matter what.

    But this is so cute!


    • I just had dinner with him, on the way back to his apartment for presents, and I can report that this “gift” was a big hit and he now feels world famous.


          • There’s the catch then. Or catches. Shrewd grandma. And in present day of course there’s your own streak of evil. Adds up to continue the legacy!


          • Yes yes, very proud to keep on the tradition. Grandma was similarly the sweetest woman in the world 98% of the time, and a little bit scary the remaining 2%.


          • I’ll get that ratio checked if she agrees with that if I get to heaven before you.

            Who am I kidding I’m defly going to hell.


          • Aw, but you are keeping me company while I try to finish this Luck By Chance post after getting home late from Birthday Dinner! That’s got to give you some brownie points with the Almighty.


  2. Hi Margaret,
    Thoroughly enjoyed reading about your Grandpa and his 96th birthday celebrations!
    Your a gifted writer, and the way you wrote about his life made for interesting reading.
    It made think what life was like back in the day!
    Also enjoyed listening to your video reviews, very well presented and great subject knowledge! …. Love your glasses and awesome hair by the way! 😊


    Liked by 1 person

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