Ever since I was a little tyke, I’ve been interested in the 1920s and the World War II era.
My grandfather, Joseph Rudolph, whom we call Poopa, piqued my interest in the two eras because he always had great stories to tell from when he was younger and in the Navy.
One story I remember is that he was in the kitchen at night on board a ship and he noticed a few cockroaches crawl into the pancake batter and no one did anything.
Needless to say, he didn’t eat the pancakes the next day, and the cooks told the sailors they were chocolate chips.
You have to get your protein in somehow, I guess.
That’s only one of the countless stories he told me that would never get old, as I sat next to a man embodying what I could only imagine were countless stories.
Something about the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s really interests me.
When I talk to my friends, they say the same and the comment, “My grandparents are way cooler than I’ll ever be,” is usually brought up in conversation.
From how they dressed, to going through the Great Depression and World War II, they’ve been through a lot and they’ve done a lot.
While there were drawbacks to this time period, there’s a lot of good that came out of it. The character of people is something we could bring back to our society today.
People worked hard and were self-sufficient, and respect was a huge thing.
My grandmother, whom we call Booma, said her mother used to leave the doors unlocked during the Depression and leave food on the stoop for the homeless.
Given the time, there were a lot of homeless people, and to think people left their doors unlocked and put plates of food outside for them when they had little themselves is a testament to the character of the people of the time.
Along with their character, they had some great fashion.
I know I am usually seen walking around in a flannel shirt and sweatpants, so I can’t say much, but they always looked their best.
My grandma’s theory is that the way you dress reflects how you will act, and looking at society today in some ways that might be true.
There’s a lot we can learn from people of different generations.
Whether it’s how to dress or how to stand your ground, or marveling at their unshakeable character, there is something to be gained.
For me, the stories are just so interesting, and I learn so much.
It really fascinates me to see pictures of and hear what their lives were like and listen to them talk about the experiences they’ve had.
There’s just something about that generation that fascinates me, and it’s difficult to put it into 550 words.
I just hope that when I am their age I will have cool stories to tell.
It may not be about war, the Great Depression or finding the love of your life at the Slovenian National home, but I hope I have some tales that inspire and reflect positively on my life and generation.