I have written previously about my mom’s mom (Grandma Betty) and her theory about eating dessert first. So i should write about my Grandpa (Al.). He outlived her by years, but its a lesson we learned after he passed that was interesting.
Of course I can’t need to get right to the point of the story, if you were expecting a one sentence blog you have not been reading my stuff very long. But first some background, my grandparents both escaped Nazi Germany and made it to the US. They settled in the Weequahic area of Newark NJ. From my memory my grandparents opened a corner grocery store/deli. My grandfather could slice lox like no one else.
He invested his money in apartments and when he retired he was able to live off the rents. (Financial advice from my grandfather there) and moved to Union NJ. I grew up in Clark, not that far way, but going there on weekends for dinner the drive felt like it took forever. (The way there was better cause I was getting dessert see other post) But as you get older what I started learning – is that you need something to do.
I have written before that I believe everyone needs and outlet, but more than that we often have reasons to get up in the morning. These include stuff like work, activities, house work (doesn’t clean itself), errands, to-do list etc. But once goes away what do you do, for now my grandpa had the apartments (dealing with renters, the building etc.) and that kept him very busy. But at some point my parents had to take that over as he was getting too old.
Well to our surprise after he passed we needed to clean up his place, and found lots of the usual things. My cousin Guy took his tools (weighed a ton in the suitcase) and there were pictures, family things etc. We had moved him to a smaller place so we thought there would not be a surprise. Well look below:
Well yes we found some of these – S&H Green stamps, cause like everyone had those. But that was not the interesting ones.
What we found above is coupon bonds. Please note, this is an image from the internet, not the exact bonds that we found. We found all different ones, marked different dates etc. I started to wonder why, because by that time the 1990s they definitely were not the norm. In fact, most people saw them as a hassle, you need to go to the bank and give them a coupon, and get your money. Vs have that money just added to your investment account.
Well, that we the genius of my grandpa Al, he actually had so many of them he needed to go to the bank often. This is what kept him going, he had something to do, somewhere to go, people to see. I honestly can’t remember when I went to a bank, and do physical banking. Everything is online, or via teller. Something that added human interaction has become automated and cold. (But I guess that will be another blog post.).
What is going to be my coupon bonds when I get older, what is going to be the thing that gets me up in the morning, seeing the same faces and giving me human interaction. I never realized it, but pre-covid my parents (now semi-retired cause my daddy likes working) do things to keep them going. Between my dad gambling (though not big money,) going to see live music, going out to restaurants etc. They had the things that gave them a reason to get up.
Now I am not ready to retire, far from it. But I need to find the things that will do it, I guess I will let you know, but until then I will continue to learn from the wisdom of the elders.
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This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.