August 14, 2011

Sharing Memories (Week 33): My Grandpa Was an Ape

It's Week 33 of our Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey Please join us each Sunday as we share our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be thankful that you did! Write here as a comment, or on your own blog, or in a private journal, but please write!

Do you remember a favourite funny story in your family? Something your dad or grandpa or other relative told? Perhaps your funny story is something a relative did. Maybe the story told in your family is the one about Uncle Harry with the lampshade on his head at New Year's?

Our family has a story I love. My brother is going to kill me for telling this but I love it, so here goes. My father was known for playing with us kids, the neighbour kids and our cousins (his nieces and nephews). Dad's claim to fame was his ability to jump around like a monkey, making an amazing good monkey face and monkey sounds as he swung his arms loosely while he squatted and leaped around the yard. I used to love having him chase me and of course we kids would all scream and try to get away.

Apparently when he was quite young my brother asked how Dad could mimic a monkey so well and my father told him, with a perfectly straight face, that his dad (my brother's grandfather) was an ape in the Toronto Zoo. Dad told a great tale of how our grandmother McGinnis was at the zoo one day, saw a gorgeous ape, fell iwith this ape, and bingo - that ape became our grandfather. I think there was even mention of the fact that my brother could go visit his grandpa at the zoo if he wanted. Now, no one would believe that, right? Wrong.

My gullible brother went to school and told his teacher and classmates that his grandfather was an ape at the Toronto Zoo. When his teacher gently tried to explain the difference between truth and making up stories, my brother was indignant. He was not lying! And so this little story escalated with a trip to the principal's office since my brother refused to retract his story, insisting it was true. A phone call home cleared the matter up but I doubt my brother has ever forgotten, and hopefully he's never been sucked in so badly again.

I hope he forgives me for telling the story. I enjoyed telling his grown son two years ago. It seems my brother had not shared that story with his family but I made sure they knew it. My nephew didn't believe me so asked his dad and my brother confessed - yes, he thought his grandpa was an ape at the Toronto Zoo.


Patti said...

Hi, I'm not sure how I found your blog, but I'm glad I did. I got into genealogy about 3 months ago...I am totally addicted.

I've been doing a family journal since about 2003, but recently I started doing something on my blog on Sundays. I call it "Feeling Nostalgic," and I relate something near and dear from my childhood. Obviously, I am on the same page as you are with regard to writing things down.

I will definitely be visiting your blog again.

Oh, and the "grandpa is an ape" story is hysterical. Quite honestly, I am pretty gullible, so I can see myself believing something like that. As a matter of fact, in my research, I found out that my paternal grandfather's middle name was Leroy. I was shocked. He had told me it was Leon. I distinctly remember him telling me that his middle name backwards spelled noel. Obviously, he was joking...but I believed him! So, I'm right there with your brother.

Have a great weekend,

The Grandmother Here said...

I think the teacher over-reacted. She could have said, "Okay" and moved on.

Joan Thomas Holloway said...

Before my sister learned to read or spell words, a family friend used to say to her, "Nancy, you are my P-I-double-L pal." She thought she was being praised. The dog in her first first grade reader was named "Pal." She was quite upset when her teacher told her that P-I-double-L was pronounced "pill." She would certainly identify with your brother's feelings. She never saw the humor the rest of the family enjoyed.

I enjoyed your blog!