Posts Tagged ‘Dutch-American’

After collecting hours of tapes from interviewing my grandfather (in 1994), the interviewer began to get into her final questions. She wanted to know how Grandpa spent his time. 

Grandpa really liked to “read” about one of his favorite subjects: finance. Note: this was my absolutely worst subject in college. I dropped out of it twice before I could stick it out.

At one time, Grandpa did read fiction.  When I was a little kid, I remember he liked to read paperback cowboy novels.

The interviewer began to probe a bit more about certain subjects at this point. Grandpa admitted that being a teen was the best time of his life:

Grandpa did used to give us all advice about saving our money. It wasn’t my best subject ;), but I think my husband learned from him.

The interviewer wrote this about Grandpa at the end of her research paper:

While Grandpa was born in 1908 and a product of his times, he was a remarkably tolerant person. That doesn’t mean that he was free of all prejudices because every human has them. But he is the man who told me that our family had some African ancestry and that his father’s mother was Jewish. He seemed to love the idea that his own background was more diverse than it appeared. Now I know from my 23andme DNA test, that we do not have African ancestry. However, I do have some Asian background, and maybe he did, too.

Most pertinently, Grandpa believed in live and let live. This was a trait he probably believed was a Dutch trait, and he prided himself on being Dutch. As I mentioned in Part I, one of his favorite jokes was “if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much.”

When my husband and I were first dating, he drove down Burdick Street with his dad.  My grandfather was standing out in the yard, and my husband’s father (a dear man himself) said to my husband, “Now there’s an old Dutchman.”

Eventually we told this story to Grandpa and he loved it.

Grandpa helping 2-year-old me blow out the candles on my birthday cake

Grandpa helping 2-year-old me blow out the candles on my birthday cake

Thank you for staying along for the ride. I hope you enjoyed Grandpa’s story!

One last image of Grandpa with his Great Grandson Marc.

Great Grandpa with Marc (my son)

Great Grandpa with Marc (my son)

Here are the first parts of the story:

Click this link for Part I

Click this link for Part II

Click this link for Part III

Click this link for Part IV

Click this link for Part V

Click this link for Part VI

Click this link for Part VII

Click this link for Part VIII

Click this link for Part IX

Click this link for Part X

Click this link for Part XI

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