Hey everyone! For my Grandma's birthday (last week Friday) I suggested she do an AMA. I've seen their popular with other elderly people and figured reddit and I could learn a lot from her. I will be typing for her, but I'll put exactly what she says in quotes.

As for proof, what would you like? Just her holding something with my username and the date? Thanks!

Edit: I have sent proof to the mods. If they don't approve, I'll move to casual Iama. Thanks everyone.

Edit 2: She agreed to let me show the picture.

Edit 3: Aaaand she made me take the picture down.

Edit 4: Thanks for the questions so far everyone! I'm having fun and learning a lot. I'm trying to keep her more on track, so what i say will be in [brackets].

Edit 5: 7:21pm EST Alright, well things started slow and they got even slower! I did learn some fun things so thanks for the questions everyone. I'm heading home, but I'll try to answer anything I see once I get home.

Edit 6: 3/26/2014 2:45PM EST This is gotten a ton of intrest after I left her house. I will try to call her tonight to get some questions answered. Thanks everyone!

Comments: 94 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

now_in_the_know14 karma

What is Detroit like in your memories? Have you been back recently? Do you have any thoughts on the changes or is that not something that you think about really?

Also, obligatory "tell me about the great depression" question. The Great Depression is one of the most interesting periods of history for me, and my own grandparents grew up on farms and weren't really affected too much by it because they were very self sufficient. I see that you also grew up on a farm, but how were you affected by the depression, if at all.

What do you think about "kids these days"?

cjbrigol21 karma

"It was free. You could walk anywhere. Everything was kept up. People took care of their lawns. If you stepped on it by accident they'd be waving their fist at you! And in those days the schools we went to we had good teachers and everything was free. All our books and paperwork. Everything was given to us as part of the education. We were able to walk to any school we wanted to except in highschool because some were further away.

"mm mm" as in no. "By accident we made a wrong turn. I was with Mark [her son] and we got turned around and we went down the street we used to live on and trees were overlapping, windows broken, and all kind of graffiti at the end of the block where we used to walk. It was terrible."

"Well for what I remember they were getting ready for the war and a lot of the food was rationed where they got cards, my parents got cards, and they were able to only buy certain types of foods. A lot of people went to Canada and would buy food and come back. Times were tough but on the farm we had all the farm animals to get our food from. We had to prepare all that. I remember...this stays in my memory because it bothers me. I was 5 or 6 and they would go to kill a pig and those pigs would squeal, and I remember running out and running away as far as I could. But they had to do it to be able to survive. And they had a cellar below the house where they would keep the food there because it was cold in there. They probably had ice in there."

"These days?! Oh I think they're just ...I think first they should train the parents because the kid can stand on his head and the parent says 'Oh look at little Johnny isn't he cute?!' and I'm thinking 'omg lady you better give him some orders and teach him how to be a kid.' Also, they dress up these little kids that are 4, 5, 6 years old that don't wanna be dressed up and put them on TV. You guys didn't [talking about me, I'm 24] have that stuff. People go to these places to dance and act and have make up and they're still babies. And I think things have changed terribly. It's not teaching the kids anything. I think the parents do it because they think they're gonna make a lot of money. And these are just normal looking kids. Nothing special!"

Sorry it took so long, i want to tell you exactly what she says :)

AnnOnimiss3 karma

The last part about not teaching their kids right, what would she emphasize or teach? What teaching methods would she advocate? Just curious as a future parent.

cjbrigol2 karma

That's a great question. This got a lot of interest after I left her house so I'm going to try to call her after work today to get more questions answered!

now_in_the_know2 karma

thanks so much to her for answering all of that, and thanks to you for transcribing it. These are really interesting insights.

cjbrigol2 karma

Thank you! It was fun and I learned a lot too :) I also love typing so it was fun to try to keep up with her talking :P

JOATproducer12 karma

I remember trying to teach you how to use a mouse on your old PC! This is Sam, by the way.

  1. Thanks for the awesome upbringing in my backyard. Haven't seen you in a while but I have missed you!

  2. What has been the proudest moment of your life so far?

cjbrigol8 karma

"Well...I dunno...I don't think I have any. [Come on you have to have something] I think I'm proud when the kids are concerned about me. The children and the grand children. And when they're not concerned about me...too bad!"

cjbrigol3 karma

And when I told her it was you she laughed pretty hard :P

chem_boy9 karma

For someone who is now 90, you have experienced more life than most of us can hope to obtain. My question to you would then be, if you had to give advice to generations coming up, what do you feel in all your years, is the true secret to happiness?

cjbrigol11 karma

"Well ya know I can't even give an answer for that because the last few generations have been so different from when I grew up and so much freedom and so much money, that the kids as they're growing up, don't know the difference. My 16 year old great grandchild has a Jaguar! Not a brand new one but still! [So your answer to secret to happiness is...?] Kids are spoiled! They have too much. Parents aren't as involved as when I was a kid. [So you have no answer?] Get along, do the right thing, and I think that's a part of being happy. But the younger generations, they're spoiled..."

I think that's all we're gonna get. She doesn't want to get off the spoiled child topic haha. I can tell you what I think we're getting at but I don't want to paraphrase if you don't want me to.

chem_boy1 karma

Ha ha I completely understand her logic, I grew up with traditional southern parents who themselves were children of immigrants (and by most people my age considered "old fashioned." I definitely agree with your grandmother about generations being spoiled, and I appreciate the advice on what she thinks is the secret to happiness.

cjbrigol4 karma

Yeah I agree with her too. It's almost like they can't be happy because they're so spoiled

gooneyleader5 karma

Heres another one. On your 50th birthday someone told you were going to live another 40 years what would you have done differently?

cjbrigol8 karma


Wow that was great...thanks for that question :)

cjbrigol7 karma

She's continuing

"What would I want differently? I would have done things differently when my husband was alive. He was always working...he had to be working or he felt like he was nothing. I would have wanted to vacation in Florida in the winter."

thebiglibrarian5 karma

What is the biggest change you've seen since your childhood technology-wise?

cjbrigol8 karma

"Computers! All these iPads and phones...that I don't understand and don't even want to."

Obdami4 karma

Who was/is your favorite President and why?

cjbrigol6 karma

She gave me kind of a sigh and rolled her eyes...

"Well I think Reagan was good. I didn't pay too much attention in that era at that time. Kennedy didn't have a chance because they killed him so early...but Kennedy I think would have done some good if he had the chance. He was a womanizer but I read his book and oh boy! But other than that Clinton I think we all lived really good when he was in power, whether it was his doing or his people or whatever. But the stocks were up and the CDs were sky high. And I worked at that time and I used to get a bond a week."

Kvaezde3 karma

Do you speak polish?

cjbrigol6 karma

"I used to! But since my mother died I forgot it."

orangejulius3 karma

How did growing up in the depression era influence your life?

cjbrigol10 karma

"It kinda made you not spend money foolishly. So you learned how to balance your books and your credit cards and learn how to save!"

sigrid23 karma

Whats has been your go to for booze over the years ? I live in Northern Wisconsin and my grandma loves baileys and brandy but sparingly now.

cjbrigol3 karma

"Those are good! But I don't drink. For what I drink, they'd all go broke? [What do you drink?] Well now I'll just have some wine but before I used to drink whatever was around...like when we played cards. The guys would always drink beer so we'd have some beer too. I don't have a favorite!"

Not sure what she meant with the go broke haha.

sigrid23 karma

Thanks for the reply just to let you know that I love the U.P. and MI in general some of the most beautiful areas! I lived on the shores of lake Superior for years!

cjbrigol2 karma

That's awesome. Yeah Michigan's great but I hate the snow. I want to move south. This is me talking not my grandma :P

fabricator013 karma

Do you still live somewhere in Michigan?

cjbrigol3 karma

"Yeah. I live in Troy. This is going on the internet? [What do you want me to say to him?] ...Bug off!"

fabricator013 karma

No, I was just wondering, I live over here on the west coast of MI close to Grand haven, aint springtime in MI grand?

cjbrigol3 karma

Yeah that snow today was great!

lowspeedlowdrag3 karma

What's your favorite or most memorable song from the Big Band era?

cjbrigol4 karma

"um...well I like Frank Sinatra but what song he sang? He sang so many songs. New York, New York I think would be one of them..."

I'm not sure she recognized the term Big Band Era

lowspeedlowdrag2 karma

Cant go wrong with Frank! I'll spin this and wish you many more happy years.

cjbrigol6 karma

I showed her the picture

"Obama? [No! Frank Sinatra!] Oh! hahahaha"

Joose20013 karma

What films and music do you enjoy from the past 10 or so years?

cjbrigol7 karma

"I like a good drama, mystery. I don't go to the movies and I don't want to but what I see on TV...some of them are good. I like most lifetime movies. Lately they've been getting kind of raunchy with irritates me. There's other things besides the bedroom! But not this generation...that's all they know."

She kept trying to say little house on the prarie. I tried to explain that's not from the past 10 years haha.

ImHereToBlowSunshine3 karma

Any advice on how to live a long and happy life?

cjbrigol5 karma

"I really have no answer for that because everybody's life is different and some people party and drink and run around and they live to be 500 years old. Then there's the goody goody ones that do nothing and they die at an early age. So I think most of it is in their genes. But everybody isn't happy and everybody isn't sad...because when you get married you marry two different people and two different lives. But you need to stand up for your own rights. And don't always let the other person tell you what to do and how to live your life. Unless they're really right, but how do you know that?"

She kind gets off track haha.

gooneyleader3 karma

You saw several Wars in your lifetime. Are you scared for the future Generations of this country? Why?

cjbrigol17 karma

"There's gonna be another one pretty soon. You watch...with this Ukraine. And this Obama on TV. He's a movie star. And his wife, and kids, are in China...Tax. Payer. Money. And we didn't know we were taking all this tax payer money."

[So do you think we'll go to war? (Trying to get her back on track)]

"Well...what's happening with Russia...and Russia's always been against U S of A. And these leader's they've had. And this Putin....you see him there without a shirt? He's a movie star...him and Obama should get together. They think they're movie stars!"

gooneyleader7 karma


cjbrigol6 karma

I was laughing pretty hard too

Karol_The_Great2 karma


cjbrigol3 karma

"No. [Answered below]

No I didn't. I would have liked to but didn't.

No all I know is they came from Warsaw. That's what we heard. And they never really talked much about it, and we never asked questions."

Karol_The_Great2 karma


cjbrigol5 karma

"Oh! hahaha my goodness. So people read that stuff?"

She liked that you were from Poland :)

AnarchyBurger1012 karma


cjbrigol1 karma

"You know Hamtramack's always been there, but it was never really part of Detroit. It's always its own mayor and counsil people almost like Troy does. But Hamtramack was really beautiful. Everything was kept up so nice and people took care of their lawns and houses and everything. And then...once these other groups started to move in, these Arabs and the Blacks it's in shambales. I wouldn't go there."

Sorry got a little off track. Not sure she can answer your question either :/

rhapdimp2 karma


cjbrigol6 karma

"hahaha...uh...it's not my thing, ya know? I don't like it. But that's only me. I think they're noisy. And I even notice that on TV how noisy they are like on Price is Right and Drew Carey...I don't like him either. And now he's on Dancing with the Stars! And they got this other old man who's black and he's 72 years old but he's had his fame and fortune...he's a famous basketball player or something but why put him back? Some of those people they got the skaters who got the gold medal. Well they do pretty good with the skating..."

alianne972 karma

What is one of your best memories of your childhood? And what is one of your worst?

cjbrigol3 karma

"I just didn't like being on the farm. But the best memory? I remember...I think they took me to school one day and like I said I don't know how many miles they walked maybe 2 or 3 miles, and coming back my brother carried me because I was crying, I fell asleep in the school, and then I didn't wanna get out and walk.

[So those were bad what's a good one?] Um...a good one? You know when you're a kid I don't think you remember stuff like that. I just remember Christmas time...we didn't have, parents didn't have much money. So I remember our mother would hang up some stockings and we would get like an orange and some nuts and some candy, but there were no toys because there was no money to buy toys. And we didn't fuss about that because that was part of growing up. [So orange were exciting?] No, but that's all ya got!"

alianne972 karma

Wow, that was a fast answer, thank you! I have a lot of respect for your grandmother, because she is so fair and simply says what she thinks. Do you want to tell her that for me! :)

cjbrigol2 karma

We aren't getting many questions and I type really fast :) She's on the phone right now with her other grandson (/jealous) but I'll tell her when she is done and let you know what she says!

alianne972 karma

Thank you, it's amazing:)

cjbrigol2 karma

"Oh! hahaha...well yeah I don't...ya know, I don't brag. If things are, they are. Like they say, that's the way it is. But why brag if it's not true!"

Lots of laughing from her :) She likes people's responses back!

reddxue-2 karma

But you can't write, can you?!

cjbrigol2 karma

Haha she can. She's a great speller!

masterrod-5 karma

Do you still have relations?

cjbrigol7 karma

I'm sorry I'm not asking that lmao