family is story

Weird Family Stories we Love to Tell

150955985“And he went so crazy that he ate his shoes.”

And thus ends the bizarre ancestral tale of one of my closest friends.

To which, I counter with the tale of my ancestor, a club-footed pre-teen who hid under the family’s porch to shoot Yankee soldiers as they marched past during the War Between the States. He was pulled from under the porch and killed.

But I could’ve easily chosen the story of my grandmother’s father (that would make him my great-grandfather), who claimed he traveled from England to America via the Titanic, and, after a rough night at sea in which he changed ships, the RMS Carpathia. The trouble with his story is that his name isn’t on the manifest. His explanation was that he traveled under a pseudonym—which he never divulged. Sketch, I know. He also claimed that he had polio, and that was the reason he was pulled from the icy water—which he later said cured his polio because he didn’t have any problems once ashore—and allowed in the lifeboats. Our family really can’t do anything but believe the story; it is plausible, well, except maybe for the curing of polio. But we can’t prove otherwise.

Other friends have long family tales of bootleggers, lost treasures, assumed identities, etc. And we all love to tell these ancestral family rumors—the quirky, weird, fantastic yarns that make us interesting, heroes, rebels and stars . . . for just a moment.

What are the crazy family stories you love to tell?

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