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Best grandmother in the world by Muirin007 Best grandmother in the world by Muirin007
(Apologies for the long description. I love my grandmother to pieces, so I have to do her story justice!)

I love going through old family photos so much! This is my grandmother when she was about my age and performing in the circus. She's 78 now, and no joke, she pretty much looks the same except her hair is shorter and blonde now. I'm hoping that's good news for me, aging-wise, unless it skipped a generation, in which case, thanks a lot, genetics.

There's a fun story behind this picture: when I was in elementary school, I found a box of old photos in my grandmother's room and started to go through them. A few minutes later, I came across this one. At first, I thought it may have been my mother because it looks eerily like my mom, but then I realized that the picture just looked too old to have been a photo of Mom. So I called my grandmother into the room and asked her if the woman in the picture was her.

She looked really surprised and quietly told me that it was. I didn't understand why she'd suddenly lowered her voice. I told her that the picture was so cool and that I loved the costume and wanted to know what she'd used it for. She told me that she used to be a balance and trapeze artist in a traveling circus!

I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard, but she was sort of embarrassed. In those days, being in the circus was not something to be proud of. Her family was from the South, and dirt poor. There were seven of them living in a very small trailer. Her father initially worked as a house painter, but when the Depression hit, he realized he needed to do more to support his family--and so did his wife and children. So they joined the circus. They were all extraordinarily athletic, and the circus provided stable employment. During the Depression and War years, people needed an escape, so they were always willing to spend a few cents on a show. Circus performers may have been dogged by a negative stigma, but the circus was literally the reason my grandmother's family survived the Depression years.

They traveled all over the country with several different companies, including Barnum and Bailey. They were actually with the circus in Chicago during the Port Chicago disaster ([link] ). Talking about it still scares my grandmother--she was only 10 at the time, and said she thought the Nazis had finally invaded and were bombing the city. When the explosion started, her mother told her to keep running for cover, even if she saw one of her family members get killed. They couldn't find their father, and so they assumed he had been killed by the explosion. He'd ran for cover earlier, so he was fine--they all survived--but it just goes to show you what a frightening world my grandmother was born into.

My grandmother "did the traps," as she says, starting at around seven years old. I'm not talking swinging back and forth on a rope---I'm talking about hardcore, flying through the air, Cirque du Soleil stuff. She had a pet chimpanzee, rode elephants, and raced horses around the arena like this [link] .

When she was older, she moved out on her own, married, and left the circus behind, but she's never stopped being a daredevil. My mom told me that growing up, my grandmother had the energy of a five-year-old. She would skate with them all day, take them hiking and practically run up the mountain, and do all sorts of wacky gymnastic things in the backyard. When I was really little and she was in her 60s, she would attach a wagon to the back of her bicycle and ride us around the neighborhood for hours. Once, when she was in her early seventies, I came home and she was doing this on the living room floor: [link] . She just looked up at me and went, "Oh, hi!"

She lives in a gated community with a pool, and my sister and I still love to spend the night at her house and go swimming with her. And I'm dead serious--the woman has GUNS. She is ripped. She'll do all these pull-ups in the pool and she just keeps GOING. It's hysterical, because here's this tiny little lady from Texas with perfect June Cleaver hair and a flowery little bathing suit and a fluffy little bichon frise, and she's got biceps like the Terminator.

She had to have a knee replacement several years back and her back gives her problems, probably from all the fancy flips and things she did in the circus, so she's had to slow down a bit. And it. Drives. Her. Nuts. She cannot stand it. If she could, she would still be doing aerial flips all over the place.

Also, she loves horror films. The gorier, the better. Her favorite movie of all time is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, followed by The Exorcist. She'll call me at, like, nine o' clock and night and go, "Channel 45. Turn it on. Quick!"

So I turn it to channel 45 and there's some guy drenched in blood and getting his tongue ripped out by a mutant hillbilly in a gas station.

And my grandma's just in her glory going, "Oooh, that is so gross!"

She kept nagging us to go see Twilight because she LOVES vampires. I told her that I really didn't think she was going to like it, but she was convinced it was a horror film so I went with her. She complained the entire way home.

"Well, that was stupidville! What kind of a vampire was that? There was no blood! You can't have a vampire without blood! And I didn't like the werewolves. They just looked like dogs. They're not supposed to look like dogs--they're WEREWOLVES."

Once when we were younger we came over to her house for Christmas dinner, she tried to get us to watch The Shining.

My mom went, "Mom! No! That will scare them! Why would you want to watch The Shining on Christmas?!"

My grandmother got all hot under the collar and replied, "It's not THAT bad! It's just about a guy who tries to kill his family with an axe!"

Last month, I took her to see Phantom in Las Vegas. She'd seen the Lon Chaney version but thought it was stupid because "he looks like a monkey" and there wasn't enough blood. So we get into the theater, which is BEAUTIFUL, and I'm flailing around and super excited, and she's not quite sure what to expect. She was enjoying it enough, but you know what really got her into it? It wasn't the music. It wasn't the set design or the costumes. It wasn't even the plot line.

It was when Erik started killing people.

She LOVED it. She LOVED the scene where Buquet gets strangled. She LOVED it when Erik started shooting fireballs out of his cane in the graveyard scene, and she LOVED when he dropped the chandelier. I'll bet if they ever made a graphic musical about Erik's time in Persia as an assassin, my grandmother would buy front row tickets every night.

Once, I sat down with her and told her all about the Leroux novel and Susan Kay's novel, and you know what piqued her interest the most? The punjab lasso. I told her about how Erik tied it into a noose and used it to break his victims' necks and she went, "Ooh! I had one like that for roping cattle! We should go to a Western supply store and buy a rope so we can practice throwing it like the Phantom."

Minus the killing, she added.

Long story short, I have the best Texan trapeze artist, blood-and-guts-loving grandmother ever. She's incredibly fun and loving and kind and hilarious, and I love her more than I can possibly say.
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crazyashley Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
can i adopt your gandma?  don't get me wrong, i love my own to bits and peices...but c'mon!
bookbrink Featured By Owner May 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This ... sounds like something my grandma would do with her life. That's awesome.
mysticlove101 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2012
Best grandmother ever!! :D
kitkittykats Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Umm..hi there! I was just wondering if I could arrange a meeting with your grandmother for a school project of mine. I have to interview a person over the age of 60, and ask them how they lead their lives. I think you grandmother would be the perfect person. If you would like, please contact me through notes and we could set up an interview time? Thank you so very much and best of luck to you both.
asplashofsunshine Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2012
Movie about your grandma please, k thanks.
AVthreads Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2012  Student General Artist
This made me smile!! You've got one badass awesome grandma!! :D
fishylyco Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow she seems great! I think it's so sweet that you told us about her, she sounds like the funnest grandma ever! And that's so cool that she likes Erik because of his lasso! I want to be like her when i get old! :)
Muirin007 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
She's definitely the best grandma in the world! Ha, and that makes two of us! I hope I'm even HALF as cool as she is at her age!
fishylyco Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ha yeah! :)
Trivinia Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2012
Can your gramma adopt me? She sounds freaking AWESOME. And she's so gorgeous <3
Muirin007 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
She sure is awesome! And if she does adopt you, be prepared for a rootin' tootin' Texas party. :D

I've always thought she was gorgeous!
sucrilhophobia Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh my God, what a sweet text! You should show it to her, if you didn't yet! :3 I'm so in love with your grandma! LOL Lovely pic, lovely story! :heart:
TheWhiteSpider Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012
Your grandmother sounds like fourteen kinds of AWESOME. :D
TornAsunder7916 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dude.... That is SOOOOOOOOOO awesome! How are you so lucky?!
saturdaychick Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012
Amazing! What an incredibly cool and fun Grandmother! Lucky you!
HPAmortentiaLove Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Now I'm really jealous.
inemasterkart Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012  Student General Artist
Twillers Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2012
This is awesome! I would love to have her as a grandmother, she reminds me of mine, just because mine was constantly on the move. The story is so neat, thank you for sharing it with all of us! :)
Benedikta Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist
Cool photograph and cool story! Family history is great. And so are grandmothers! Thanks for sharing.
Akuma0013 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Your grammy sounds like one kickass lady.
inzie23 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your grandmother seems to be the best grandmother ever..
SylviaSilver Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student General Artist
Oh my god. Your grandma is amazing. Can I be her when I grow up?
Phantom-Jaselin Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
She really does sound like an incredible individual.
DreamBig715 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Your grandma so hip, she broke me.
Sage-ums Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist
....Is she available for rent?
SKShigan Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
Your grandmother is a nice person, both in the photo and as you've described her ^^ enjoy every second with her!! :love:
Nadirkhan13 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012
So amusing hhh I totally fell in love with your grandmother. She is as bloodthirsty as I am. lol
Rain-Kyokyu Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
<3 AWESOMMEEEE :D That is one amazing lady you have there! Give her a hug from me! . w .b What a legend!
One of my great-grannies lived to be 103 . w . Aaaaand thats it about my family lol //boring.
primulatook Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
what a wonderful grandmother! you are so fortunate to have her with you to share her history... and the phantom!
DragonessDeanna Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Student Filmographer
Wow! She sounds amazing, hun! =D
magikal-sause Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
She might enjoy the Robert Englund Phantom then. It is a horror movie version. The only really weird part is that it has time travel.
PowerfulDesire Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Your grandmother sounds like a badass!! :D
lol We texans raise them right. ^_^
Spelbound Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
She is just gorgeous!
I wish I had the chance to get to know my grandparents like you do your grandmother- she sounds like an incredible woman!
Lord44 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're grandmother sounds awesome!
Lord44 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
NevaSirenda Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
What a fabulous woman she is and what a lucky girl you are!
NevaSirenda Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
You should sit her down and write her life story. I am totally serious. My godmother was an amazing person like that, she worked as a publicist for Ringling Brothers for a while and later was private secretary to Mr Metro (of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer fame) and she knew EVERYBODY. She and her sister (who was an opera singer) used to routinely throw parties with guest lists over 500 people and everybody in Hollywood would show up. I always wanted to sit down with her and write her life story but never had the chance. Do it while you can!! If only for your family history. Future generations need to know this woman in all her glory, not just as fading photos.
XSashafoREVerX Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Wow! Your grandma is really awesome... and very pretty. I love the pic and the description was rad!
La-Oscura-Principe Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Student General Artist
If there was a prize for best grandmother, I'd give it to her!!
Helena-gealach Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
A toast to your grandmother!!!!
Atressa Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
Hahaha~ Aw, she sounds like a really awesome lady. You're lucky!
Rexxie13 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
Dude she is AWESOME!!! I live in envy!!!!
LindsayTaylore Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
We've got THE BEST grandmother IN.THE.WORLD.
HBCfanAlex Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
Your grandmother sounds epic!
CobainLives Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Dang, what a kick-ass grandma! All my grandma does is golf!! hahaha :)
Allaphaidole Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This reminds me of my mom's genealogy. She's been doing this for as long as I can remember and on one side of my family, she went back as far as the 18th century with all kinds of stories. the one that sticks out in my mind was my ancestor Arthur Barkley from the 19th century. I was tickled to find out that he played the violin like I do now! X3 but he had a sudden death when he fell of of his horse. I think my mom said that his horse got spook and threw him off, then my mom said that he landed perfectly on his spine and it went up into his brain. <:( Killed him instantly.

other than that, not too much happened in my family :shrug:
yours story sounds far more interesting! The only real thing I remember my grandmother doing is giving us kids old candy XD
Kumu18 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, that is one amazing story. :)
You have a phenomenal grandma, a fact of which I'm positive you're already aware.
The history of someone's life is crazy when you sit down and actually listen to it.
Especially our lovely elderly folk who have lived so much. :aww:
Thank you for sharing! I love her picture to bits!
SpookvdOpera Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Your grandma rocks! Loving TRUE vampires and werewolfs, but also Phantom's dangerous tricks, gahhh she's awesome.
songbird143 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
I love your grandmother. xD
Red-Rose-12 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012
:jawdrop: dang! your grandma is kickass!!! i was stuned when i saw that yoga picture lol thanks for shareing :D
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Submitted on
August 26, 2012
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