More about me than you would ever want to know….. A Grandpa Tale

02 Jul

Dear Readers, if this is the very 1st time you have ever read one of my posts, I am truly sorry to subject you to the following, I would suggest you look into the archives to find something interesting, this will just bore you to tears.  If you are someone who has followed me for a bit, you know I write a lot of stories for my granddaughter, to create memories of me for when my end of retirement comes.

For those of us old enough to remember AOL 1.0, that’s when I began my online experience.  It has been a wonderful experience to be sure, and over the years I have met and become cyber and real time buddies to a ton of folks. One of the ways folks learned about each other over the years where to send out questionnaires.  These questionnaires provided the answers to many commonly asked questions.  To be sure the online community has changed significantly since I was 1st online.  Sadly many of the changes have not been for the good.  But before I get way off topic, hardly a month would go by without a friend or chat room buddy or joke buddy wouldn’t be sending a questionnaire.  I think I was one of the rare ones, because every time I got the questionnaire, I completed it and sent it on. At one point I was only sending it back to the person who sent it, and my closer buddies (if the questions were significantly different).  What I have decided to do is take one of those questionnaires (from the wayback machine) and answer it again for my granddaughter only this time I will each question two ways, or maybe three. What the answer is now, what it would have been 10 yrs, and what it would be 20 years ago.  As you read you will find that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  The questions had definitive answers that the years don’t change.  So I am sorry now if that disappoints you. 

Already I have changed the ground rules I am using 2 different questionnaires and will be applying the answer as appropriate.  This 1st questionnaire is from the late 90’s early 00’s.  Just so the record is straight, this is being done on Wednesday July 2, 2014.

This is for your entire Life!    X=Yes  O=No

(X)       Gone on a blind date – several times but all prior to 1973 — Makes me feel old from the very beginning

(X)       Skipped school – yes, but not since 1980 (in 1980 I skipped college classes).  Yes I am dating myself lost count of the classes I skipped a long time ago.

(O)      Watched someone die – and I am thankful I haven’t.  

(X)       Been to Canada – the 1st time was in the mid 1990’s          

(X)       Been to Mexico – the 1st time while in Radioman “A” school 1969, have been to several Mexican ports of call since 2006, visits on Cruise Ships ports of call.         

(X)       Been to Florida – Move to Florida 2002 – had been here dozens of times prior to moving here.            

(X)       Been on a plane – My very 1st flight was when I left Louisville to go to bootcamp in April 1969            

(X)       Been lost – more times than I will admit                      

(X)       Been on the opposite side of the country – many times both during the service and as a civilian both working and visiting          

(X)       Gone to Washington DC – lived and worked in the DC area for almost 30 yrs                         

(X)       Swam in the ocean – yes and have been sunburnt on both coasts

(X)       Cried yourself to sleep – I believe we all have or will have at some point  

(X)       Played cops and robbers and I played cowboys and Indians

(X)       Recently colored with crayons – when I originally answered these questions the answer was no but having Cari in my life I can change this to a Yes

(X)       Sang Karaoke – at Joe’s in San Antonio, TX 1998 – it wasn’t a pretty sight   

(X)       Paid for a meal with coins only? – Christmas 1976 for Steph onboard the USS Independence – one of the best meals we ever shared

(X)       Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? – and said many things I wish I could take back

(X)       Made prank phone calls – I was making crank calls before there were spam calls     

(X)       Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose – it wasn’t a pretty sight  

(X)       Caught a snowflake on your tongue – but this was before I moved to Florida   

(O)      Danced in the rain – maybe this is something I need to do while I still have a chance.        

(X)       Written a letter to Santa Claus – yes and I will and have encouraged any child that may have thought I was him to do so 

(X)       Been kissed under the mistletoe – yes but would have enjoyed more opportunities

(X)       Watched the sunrise with someone [and the sunset too.] – Yes  

(X)       Blown bubbles – Yes Cari and I have done so out on the Lanai

(X)       gone ice-skating – yes it was in the early 70’s and my butt is still sore  

(X)       Been skinny dipping outdoors – I have a swimming pool in a private backyard, and while I may look like I am a whale, I look like a whale enjoying himself

Here is the second set of questions, clearly the going back 10 the 20 years isn’t working out, but as appropriate I will share that information.  Now on to a game of 20 or more questions;


1. Any nickname? – yes “Ham” has been my nickname for over 45 years, but I have also been called “Red” at various times until I was 40, and before I even got out of elementary school (3rd grade) I was called Camelskin  

2. Mother’s Name? – Ila   

3. Favorite Beverage?

non-alcohol – Ice tea unsweetened no lemon, Coke, lemonade (pink) and the most important of all Water – Coke and lemonade thru my high school years, Coffee during my Navy career – Water didn’t become truly important until I started coming to Florida on a regular basis, now it is my 1st drink of choice

alcoholic – Knob Creek Bourbon on the rocks – Greygoose on the rocks – a good Bloody Mary (do not use greygoose), and Corina for my beer.  Being honest my choice in alcohol have changed as I have aged, my normal go to Bourbon is Jim Beam and has been for 25 years. I didn’t discover good Vodka until later in life, so whenever I had a bloody Mary it was always with well vodka. 

LMAO as I am typing this, I am trying like the devil to figure why Cari would ever want or need to know some of this stuff. 

4. Body Piercing – None except for those made during surgery

5. Tattoo – No, but I have scars, and those have much better stories than tattoos.  Cari to my knowledge your mom has 2, by the time you read this she may have 3 or 4 for all I know, ask her, and please don’t get any, well maybe one.  

6. How much do you love your job?—before I retired I was quite fortunate, I almost loved my job.  I had a 39 year career working for the Federal Govt, I was extremely fortunate to have worked on some very interesting projects, that were of significant importance, and I may have already spoke of those in a different post.  But my last four years of my career was my favorite because I worked directly with my customers, that part, well love is too strong a word, but I really enjoyed my job.  I am now retired and I enjoy this as much as I enjoyed working.

7. Birthplace – Baltimore Maryland

8. Favorite vacation spot – Australia, we visited there for 2 weeks in November 2001, next favorite Hawaii in 1999, next favorite Disney Cruise 2013, before all of these and when I was Cari’s age we always vacationed at the Grandparents place.

9. Ever been to Africa? – Yes during the Navy years, most likely it was 1970.

10. Ever eaten just cookies for dinner? Yes, I bet it would be difficult to find someone who hasn’t especially when you add the LARGE glass of milk

11. Ever been on TV? – yes evening news December 21, 1999 in London England about terrorism and the Y2K fears, CBS interviewed us as we departed a double decker bus. I stood in the background looking like a dork while Stephanie talked.

12. Ever steal traffic signs? No, and Cari I suggest you don’t either that is extremely dangerous.

13. Have you ever been in a car accident? YES – Christmas night 1967, partiers ran a red light and struck the car I was driving. Then 6 months later I was a passenger in a vehicle where the driver lost control and we struck a telephone pole.  I was in the back seat, and the 3 friends in the front were all seriously injured.

14. Drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? – I have driven both, owned both enjoyed them both, 1st car was 61 Buick La Salle, 2nd 60 Chevy Corvair Spyder, 3rd was a 1960 Chevy Impala Convertible (my 2nd favorite car) and I still remember the 16 other cars I have owned during my lifetime.

15. Favorite Number – 55 that was my jersey number when I played JV Football

16. Favorite Holiday – Thanksgiving, always has been and I have written more than 1 post about the meal.

17. Favorite day of the week? Sunday

18. How do you relax – read or play video games, I used to golf and bowl but health issues has taken that off the table, now my favorite hobby my passion has become this blog. Cari hobbies are extremely important.  As a person you must be rounded and grounded.  All work and no play will not allow you to be rounded and grounded.

19. How do you see yourself in 10 year? hopefully alive, and doing things that give me some level of pleasures. Answered in 2007, hopefully it’s still a good answer. We will see.

20. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV – UofL Basketball or Football, have been a U of L fan forever and 2 days.  Now they will have an opportunity to kick some UVA butt on a regular basis. (For daughter Allison and son-in-law Stu)

21. How do I vent anger – internal explosion – Cari this isn’t the best way to do this. You will find plenty of reasons to be angry over the years, and you will find that explosions is not the right response.  Be careful in the one you choose.

22. What am I most afraid of – Not being able to take care of myself.

23. What is my favorite flower – Roses, Mom grew them, and I find the so very appealing to the eye.  Always have been.  Though Steph had a wonderful garden in Virginia that didn’t include roses. 

Okay folks that is more than enough information about me.  Remember this is for Cari, I may come back to it and refine it or update as I feel necessary.  Though I doubt if I ever publish it again.

As always if you have any questions comments or concerns please feel free to ask. My answers will be as honest as I can be. Take care, Bill


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16 responses to “More about me than you would ever want to know….. A Grandpa Tale

  1. Chatter Master

    July 3, 2014 at 5:34 am

    She will treasure this Bill. I wish I had these answers from my grandparents. What an incredible gift to her!

    • FlaHam

      July 3, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Colleen, As always thanks for your sweet comments, and I do hope that she will treasure them. Because the questions were random, and offered a different perspective that was why I chose to publish them. I wouldn’t have thought to ask those of myself for her benefit. Please take care, Bill

  2. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    July 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Praying for #19 with you. This is the most wonderful post to pass down to your granddaughter. And as Colleen said, I wish I had these answers from my grandparents and my parents. They lived through such interesting times, coming to America from Europe, loosing all their money in the Great Depression, etc. It was a poignant and lovely walk down memory lane with you, my friend as I couldn’t help but nod yes, or no, while reading your answers as I related them to my life, and heart. U R a gem. Happy 4th to you and your family. Love & hugs, Paulette

    • FlaHam

      July 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Paulette, Smiling I am pushing for #19 as well, as always thank you for your wonderful comments and support. It was a fun post, but boring as well, but it will shed light for Cari about me. Maybe help her understand some of the stories she is told about me when that time comes. It was also a good exercise, but in doing it, it made me smile many times. That meal that I bought only using coins (onboard the Independence) for instance cost 67 cents, and Steph and I had to search the couch and coin jars to come up with that money. But I didn’t add those details because it didn’t occur to me to do. So that will be part of the revision. Thank You ! Your response is exactly what I had hoped for. Folks reading it, and mentally answering those same questions as they went along. Please take care, Bill

  3. Emily Grace

    July 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Bill, you crack me up. What fun! I would just like to say that I have never been kissed by anyone, including my Farmer, under the mistletoe. I have asked him to remedy this for the last decade – and told him he’d better make it good, too 😉 – but still, no mistletoe action for me. Ah well, something to look forward to.

    • FlaHam

      July 4, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Emily, My heart breaks for you to have missed that kiss, you must fix that this year, you truly must. I am quite glad you enjoyed my fact sheet. I didn’t think to be interesting at all, more informational for my granddaughter. But again thanks for playing along. Take care, Bill

      • Emily Grace

        July 7, 2014 at 9:54 am

        My pleasure. I love to hear storytellers and a list like that is like a bulleted story. 🙂

        • FlaHam

          July 7, 2014 at 1:14 pm

          Emily, what a wonderful response. I truly thought it was one of the most boring posts had and done in a long long time. My of my grandpa tales and treasure box stories are in fact just that stories. They are about me, my life, my adventures, and are much more true than not. Thank you so much for enjoying them. Take care, Bill

  4. Clowie

    July 4, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    I’m sure your granddaughter will enjoy reading your replies to these questions.
    I would love to be able to have a dinner of cookies!
    Happy Independence Day!

    • FlaHam

      July 5, 2014 at 6:59 am

      Clowie, Smiling, Clowie if we were neighbors I would invite you to a cookies for dinner meal. After I gained the support of you Bipeds. I hope your right about my granddaughter enjoyment about the questions. But Clowie, I am also smart enough to know that when the time comes and she reads some of these posts she will scratch her head in wonderment and go why did he tell me this. LOL LOL and that’s okay too. Take care, Biped Bill

  5. Miss Lou

    July 8, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Bill, I got to this part:

    ‘Been skinny dipping outdoors – I have a swimming pool in a private backyard, and while I may look like I am a whale, I look like a whale enjoying himself’ LMAO and was crying tears of laughter getting through the rest.. lol

    I too remember these questionnaires *rollin my eyes* and I am 35!

    I think your granddaughter will really enjoy reading through these – full of wonderful information and funny too!


    • FlaHam

      July 9, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Miss Lou, Your comments have been so sweet, thank you very much. I am sure by now you have read more than one of my posts, and you have found that I do sprinkle some humor into each in some way. A smile makes everything easier to take. And if I can’t kid about myself I have no right to kid about others. It really gives me great joy that you had to finish reading the rest of that post with tears in your eyes. That makes it worth while. Yes at some point I also hope my granddaughter has tears in her eyes when she reads these. Please take care, and be safe, Bill

  6. benzeknees

    July 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, that’s a lot of info. about you Ham! My favorite flower is gladioli, especially the salmon colored ones! When my grandfather died (I was 12 & my parents didn’t want me to remember him from a funeral so they wouldn’t allow me to attend), I went to a great deal of trouble with a very kind lady from a florist shop to make sure there would be flowers from his 2 granddaughters there & they were salmon colored gladioli. I found out later they were given pride of place near the coffin because of the sweet message I had put with them.

    • FlaHam

      July 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Benze, I can’t help but feel your parents did you a great disservice in not allowing you to take part in your grandfather funeral. But you made up for it by sending the flowers, and the message. More power to you. As always thank you for your comments, please take care, Bill


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