Hi Grandpa: This is my honey, baby. Grandma: Yeah Grandpa: and coming up though, uh How many years have we been married? Grandma: It’ll be 70. It was 1932 when, when uh, I, we moved into his neighborhood. We were both 10 years old. We were both in the same grade, so I’ve known her for 80 years. I still remain as horny as ever, but you know the rest… And he, I joined him in sixth grade and I recognized him right away because he was the naughtiest boy in class. He got scolded, he got taken to the cloakroom quite a bit. Just cause I threw erasers around? Grandma: Yeah, and few other things… yeah.
Grandpa: Dumb teachers. He was a naughty boy Grandma: and he sat behind me usually and threw spitballs.
Grandpa: Yeah, behind her. Sometimes he’d dip ’em in the inkwell and made it an ink spitball, but I didn’t know that that was a way of showing attention to me. Our class would go ice-skating at night and one time you washed my face with snow. [chuckles] I guess that was showing me attention too. I didn’t like it. I think we were in eighth grade and all of a sudden, you know, I noticed that girls… were different than boys, and they were kind of nice. That one time, when I washed your face, that was kind of a biggie, and and it seemed like, you know, I wanted to touch her in some way and how do I know about touching young girls? So, I picked up some snow and washed her face. Grandma: [laughs] Didn’t go over very well. Grandma: Naughty.
Grandpa: You know uh, when you’re ten years old, you know, girls were “eh”. We took it kind of slow and easy, but you know I’d known her for, for at least five years before it started to feel her up. It seems impossible that, that we’re that old. I’m going to add a little correction to that. It took longer than five years before… Grandpa: [laughs hysterically] Don’t believe him. Obsessions, answer truthfully. [laughs] I don’t… Grandpa: I dare ya.
Grandma: He does have obsessions. He’s, he’s always after my body. I’m eighty-nine years old and [he says] “You turn me on”. Grandpa: Well, and she’s so stingy with her body.
Grandma: Do I have any weird obsessions? Be careful. You think I want to get caught up in that…forget it! At night, I’m always the first one to curl over, but I always go over to her side. We always kiss good night. Always. and profess our love for one another and…I don’t think we ever missed that did we? Instead of getting a card, he’ll take a paper plate and he’ll write a real loving message. But lately uh, when what was it? Two years ago at least. It was a paper plate again, and I forget, maybe it was mother’s day, but I just…[clucks tongue] poured out my heart and told her how important she was in my life and how far I’ve gone in my life because she was at my side. I’ve saved that and what I do is, I just changed the date and give her the same card. I mean, what the sam hell else could I say? Mother’s day coming up. She’s gonna get that same card and she knows it and loves it. When we walk we hold hands, well, we’ve always held hands. We began in high school, but when we walk now, we hold hands, I think so.
Grandpa: …to support each other. Grandma: Yes, so we stay upright. The important thing in a marriage is to be nice to each other and to be good friends, to remember that all the time. What do you guys argue about the most? Grandpa: Sex.
Grandma: [laughs] He doesn’t need his hair cut. It’s, it’s ridiculous. When it gets, when he finally has a little hair here, he runs to the barber. No, I think that he wastes money on haircuts. Absolutely. She doesn’t know that the trend for men nowadays is to clip it close I like to stay trendy. He used to be very…about his hair, blonde and… Grandpa: Remember my wave?
Grandma: And, and he’d push a little wave in. We never go to bed, never uh, carrying a grudge against the other one, being mad, so-called mad at each other. Never, ever. If it’s really a focal point, we sit alongside each other. Talk it out. Which is very seldom, but then it’s always kiss good night. What is something that grandpa does that drives you nuts? Grandpa: Probably several things.
Grandma: Well, some things I can’t say…[laughs] The other night, um, we were talking and I told John we’re telling each other nice things and I said, “You know what John, I never was attracted to another man.” and he said, “I never was attracted to another man either.” Grandpa: Yeah, we both cracked up on that one.
Grandma: Well, that’s it. You got to make each other laugh to enjoy each other. When this article in the paper, just recently that John’s, he’s a baseball legend, you know. And um, people have clipped the article out and given it to us, sent it to us and he walks in, he said, “You know, I, did you know you were married to a legend? You realize you’re married to a legend?” and he said, “I don’t think a legend should have to take the garbage out anymore.” Right! Right. She still wants me to take out the garbage. Grandma: Oh yes. He takes out the garbage.
Grandpa: I’m a legend! I’m gonna milk that dry. Um, do you remember your first date? Yes, very well. Grandpa: Basketball game in high school.
Grandma: 15, maybe we were. Maybe we were 15. I asked her out to go the high school basketball game at our gym, walked her all the way home, wanted to kiss her, didn’t have the guts, so [shrugs] Grandma, do you remember what you thought when he didn’t kiss you? Oh you, you never kissed on a first date. Heaven’s sake, never. That would have been ’37, maybe huh? Yeah. 1937, yeah. Long time ago. What’s the naughtiest thing you did while dating? We didn’t really do many naughty things. She wasn’t a very naughty girl, so I played it more reserved. Well the whole marriage bit, never sleeping together until you were married. It was just well, it was common in our days wasn’t it? You didn’t do it. Yeah, except for the naughty girls. Except for the naughty girls, yeah. But you know what the best time of life is? It’s when your children are married and they give you grandchildren. The highlight of our lives is a great-granddaughter, Eddie, and she is, I’m sorry, but she really is the most beautiful, the most wonderful, the greatest thing on Earth. And she’s all over the house, as you as you can see. The best time of my life is right now. Imagine being retired 28 years. Hey, the best time was yesterday cause I’ve made it till today and having my honey baby by my side. That we’ve lived together all these years it’s been wonderful. Wonderful. The war years were hell. Yeah, the war years were necessary. Had to be done. What memories do you have growing up in the Depression? Well, actually your your grandma has never really left the Depression. She, I tell ya, she watches those pennies and now that we’re at this stage we’re, you know hey, we can be more comfortable. Relax a little bit. Let’s spend a…Thank God I get an allowance that’s pretty hefty. …proposed? You want to know how we proposed? I really startled her. I took her on a date and we went to the river side pumping station in Milwaukee, which is on the east side, pulled over, and started to talk seriously to her, pulled out an envelope, and then inside the envelope was a card expressing my love for her and taped into the card was this HUGE diamond ring. How big was that ring? The ring cost $29. It was gold with a, with a diamond. It was a canardly diamond. Grandpa: Yeah, can hardly see it.
Grandma: You can hardly see it. And then I said, “Will you..” She was flabbergasted when she saw that ring. Then I said, “Will you marry me?” “Yes.” And I said, “Listen baby, you stick with me and someday, You’ll be wearing a diamond as big as a horse turd. Horse apple… In, in high school there was a um, girl. Her name was Chubbins. She decided that she really liked John, so she would always meet him in the hallway and talk to him I’m sure he led her on. I decided I had enough of that stuff. I said you gotta quit them, and I well, I had some boys after me too, of course So you told grandpa to ease up on the flirting? Oh yes I did. Chubbins. So her nickname was Chubbins cause she was chubby. Grandma: Yeah.
Grandpa: Big boobs. Do you remember when you and Casey found our love notes from high school? Oh yeah. All the notes we exchanged in high school and on one of them, he wrote, “If you don’t marry me, I’m going to stab myself in the belly button”, so I decided I better marry him. I don’t like that. “Stab myself in the belly button”. With his smooth courtship… Well, you know, we married at 20, didn’t have really, much of anything. I was a sophomore at Wisconsin. [If] World War two hadn’t happened, I’m sure we wouldn’t have gotten married at that age but with the war upon us and not knowing what the hell was going to happen, we got married. And five months later, I was in in the big war. We had a lot of fun with our children. We enjoyed them, enjoyed our grandchildren beyond words, and our great-granddaughter is absolutely the best, the most beautiful, wonderful, talented I think the happiest time is when you have grandchildren. Grandpa: Yes. Our three kids were wonderful. I mean we loved ’em and adored ’em, but you worry more about ’em. But when you have grandchildren, the parents are there to help you with the worry and you get all the fun. Grandpa worries, wonders now, how did we ever make it on $2800 a year? That was what his first salary was. Well, we made it cause Grandma handled the money. That’s right. What would’ve happened if you handled the money? We’d have had a lot more fun. I think another thing that helped me cause…of a marriage and have it last so long is that You see, [Grandma], in her family, she was the oldest. In my family, I was the youngest. I was the baby. I could do no wrong, whereas [Grandma], being the oldest and had to take care of the younger sister, it was much more responsibilities. And she took those seriously and carried them over into our marriage. I was much more carefree as a youngster and carried that over our marriage. That difference helped make our marriage survive. We have to balance each other. I guess that’s what it amounts to. She needed someone like me and I needed someone like her because we are different. 90 years of age and 70 years of marriage, who’d ever thought THAT when we were in sixth grade? He has to pay for his haircuts and he doesn’t need a haircut. I could clipper that with my dog clippers. That’s not the fashion nowadays. They cut it too short. I like to see some hair. There’s hair there. Well half of the fun for a haircut is is all these young honeys. These gals are 21 to 22 years old and they do a good job. And when they find out I’m 90, they almost, they almost faint, they really do. And when they find out how long I’ve been married, they say, “Could you repeat that? What?” So the conversation is part of the fun. Especially when they’re gorgeous and have good-looking legs. What were we going to talk about? Smart. Way to hustle. Grandma: A big agoraphorb, agoraphorb?
Grandpa: Agoraphobia? Grandma: He likes to…
Interviewer: phobic? Agoraphobic? The camera hog. You know I don’t, but do I really? Grandpa: What are you going to ask me?
Grandma: No, you’re going to ask.
Interviewer: No, you ask him. He drives me nuts. Honey baby, EAT for God’s sakes. So I picked up some snow and washed her face? What? I didn’t like it. Thank God for that. Does it hurt? Is it really bad? and John said, “This is worse than childbirth”. Number 70. Who’d have ever thought? We had to get married. I knocked her up. And it doesn’t work out, the arithmetic, because Susie was born four years later. And Kathy always voted no. “He doesn’t need any more money!” But hey, it saved our ass. Oh, thank you honey. That’s all right. [blows a kiss]