"My Grandmother Kicked A Nazi Off A Streetcar." People Share The Coolest Things Their Grandparents Have Ever Done.

It's no surprise that a lot of grandparents have incredible stories from World War II, while others just did wild things on their own. These Redditors shared the coolest things grandparents have ever done, proving beyond doubt that there is nothing boring about elderly folks!

[Sources listed at the end of the article.]

My Grandad was a butcher in Scotland and owned one of the most popular shops in the city. The line often went outside of the shop, so people had to wait outside. One day a guy stole a woman's handbag while she was waiting in line. My grandad immediately ran outside, chased the man down the street, and tackled him.

The robber immediately dropped the bag and ran away, completely terrified. My grandad couldn't figure out why he was so scared, until he looked down at his hand and saw that he was still holding a huge meat cleaver.


My dad told me today that during Prohibition in the 1920's, my grandma worked as a truck driver. To make ends meet, she smuggled liquor across the Canadian border to the local taverns in her town. On top of that, I'm pretty sure she was one of the first female truck drivers ever.


My grandpa was a fighter pilot in WWII. During the war he shot and destroyed a German submarine. Turns out that some of those Germans survived that attack and in the late 1990s my grandpa traveled to Germany and met one of them. They had tea together, and he said it was nice.


My Grandma worked as a riveter making weapons and ammunition during WWII. You know that famous image of a female factory worker with the caption "We Can Do It"? Well, that figure is named Rosie the Riveter, and so that was basically my grandma. Not just that: the factory she worked at in Houston, TX was run by the great American inventor Howard Hughes. 

After the movie "The Aviator" came out, I asked if she knew Hughes personally. She said, "No, but if you ever weld, make sure to pre-heat your metal."


My grandparents were born and raised in North Korea. Before the Korean War, my Grandma taught Japanese. Once the war started, the communists targeted the educated, such as teachers. She escaped and ran barefoot for miles and miles until she safely crossed the border into South Korea. 

Arriving at a refugee camp, she met and fell in love with my grandfather, who had run away to escape from serving in the North Korean military.


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My grandpa was a nationalist activist in China when the communists were taking over. He and my grandma were about to escape to Taiwan, but right before they boarded the ship, the communist activists attacked the area, and he lost track of my grandma in the commotion. He chose not to board without my pregnant grandma, and was immediately captured. 

He spent months in prison, during which time he was tortured for information about the nationalists. Despite this, he had to offer medical assistance to wounded communist soldiers. Eventually, he was released and reunited with my grandmother. 

He passed away three years ago. When I was little, I asked him how he could offer medical assistance to the same soldiers who tortured him. He said "No matter who it is, (heal the wounded and rescue the dying). I am a doctor." 


Not everyone's relatives can be heroes. My grandparents told me I am descended from horse thieves. I guess my mom's side of the family doesn't have a lot to be proud of.


My grandad was one of the "Red Tails"--aka the Tuskegee Airmen. They were the first African-American airforce squadron and fought bravely in WWII, despite still being subjected to segregation and discrimination.


My honorary grandfather (who was my real grandfather's best friend) is a gay man and revealed to my mom that he had romantic feelings for my grandfather his entire life. My grandfather was married and straight, and I think he suspected his friend had feelings for him, but they didn't let it affect their friendship.

When my grandfather passed away, his best friend was there by his side. I'm not saying this is anything super heroic or special, just that my grandfather was lucky to have such a great and loyal friend.


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My grandmother pulled someone out of a car that was on fire. She wasn't medically trained or anything, just really cool.


My grandad was an amazing man who lived most of his life in Ireland. One time, we were on a steep mountain outside of Dublin and my brother was parking his car. He accidentally turned off the emergency brake and the car began rolling down the hill. My grandpa instantly leaped onto the road and held it in place using sheer strength. He was 85 at the time.


At the age of 25, my grandma raised and supported 8 kids on her own after my grandpa passed away.


My paternal great-grandfather worked as Al Capone's personal bartender in Chicago during Prohibition. Meanwhile, my maternal great-grandfather was a brewer who sold the alcohol to Capone's thugs. One great-grandad brewed the alcohol that the other served to Al Capone. The two of them didn't meet each other until my parents' wedding over 20 years later.


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My grandmother worked as ticket taker on a streetcar in Nazi-occupied Norway during WWII. Once, she kicked a fully armed Nazi solder off the streetcar for refusing to pay. Like physically removed him.


My grandfather was one of the nuclear physicists who worked on the Manhattan Project creating the first atomic bomb. He also raised me. 

He never got angry with me, and taught me more than the schools ever did. I always won first prize in the science fair. 


My grandfather grew up on a farm, while my grandmother was an aristocrat. This was in Ukraine during the Cold War. Communism forced my grandmother to go to college, where she became a doctor. Communism allowed my grandfather to go to college, where he became an engineer. They met and fell in love in that college.


My grandma lost her left leg on her 78th birthday, and her right leg on her 80th birthday. But she still danced at my sisters wedding when she was 83.


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My grandfather played football for the Navy and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 1950s. He ended up passing on football and went to work for an oil company. My aunt has the draft letter hanging on her wall and I want to steal it.

My great-grandfather did advertising for 7 Up and Disney. My grandmother still has a signed Walt Disney print from Alice in Wonderland hanging in her living room.


My great-grandmother escaped the Holocaust from a concentration camp and met with my great-grandfather, who was captain of a commercial ship. He offered her a ride to South America, and she agreed. They fell in love on the ride there and got married while he went on to have one of the largest cement companies in South America. I feel like I could write a romance novel about it.


In the 1930s, my grandma would secretly bleach and cut gay guys' hair after-hours at her salon. This was back when it was still illegal to get your hair cut by the opposite sex.


My grandpa and I were having a "moment" going through old photo albums together. Most of them were about his days scaling telephone poles (he was a union climber for Southern Bell) and goofing around pre-Korea deployment. 

We flipped to one album and happened upon a grainy photo of a child I didn't recognize, but the photo predated modern development. My grandpa's sobs sounded like muffled laughter before I caught on. I will never forget hugging him while he told me about his brother who drowned just out of his reach just a few weeks after the photo was taken. My dad even said that my grandpa never told him the story.


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My grandfather owned a small plane in the 1920s. One of the Wright Brothers signed his pilot's license. It was something like the 600th issued in the country at the time. He flew it all over the US. Had to crank the propeller. When he was dating my grandmother, he taught her how to do it. 

She told me they flew all of the time and landed in cow pastures. She had a wonderful leather flying outfit and was very proud of it. 


One night in 1939, my Czech grandparents looked out their apartment window and saw German tanks roll into the park across the street. They realized the Nazis had invaded Prague.

At 2 am my grandmother left the apartment and walked across half of Prague to the US embassy. My grandparents had decided that at this point, a woman could more safely navigate the streets than a man. She was one of the first in line to get visas. Because of the invasion, the embassy opened early. By the time she left at 8 am, visas in hand, the line was many blocks long.

My grandfather had spent the night packing. They could only take what they could fit in their car. When my mom, who was seven, and my uncle, who was five, woke up, the family got into the car and drove to Austrian border. When they got there, they realized that the Nazis were already starting to close it off. They got through at 11:50 am, and the border closed at noon.


My maternal grandfather actually designed the machine that makes milk cartons.


My grandparents played in a band together for over 50 years until my grandpa's death a few years back. He played accordion and sang, and my 85-year-old grandma still plays the drums!


A big thank you to all the grandparents out there who made sacrifices to raise our parents, it makes you realize how important it is to appreciate grandparents for all they've done, and to learn as much as we can about their lives. Be right back, I need to go visit my grandma with a pen and paper.

Article Sources: 1, 2, 3

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