oxymoron67: (dino head)
[personal profile] oxymoron67
My topic is "Chillin' Like a Villain"

This is an intersection entry with [livejournal.com profile] neverletyoupart, whose entry is here.

We did variations on a theme: grandparental death.

My grandfather Joe died in 1950, leaving behind my grandmother and their two daughters, my mom and my Aunt Karen.

In the two years before my grandfather’s death, his parents had died, leaving behind an estate that included a large house. The estate hadn’t been totally sorted out by the time my grandfather died.

This caused problems. The people involved in this story are my grandmother, Bid and my grandfather’s siblings: Frank, Phil and Margaret.

Scene: Frank’s living room

Frank: Look we just sit her down and tell her.
Phil: It’s not that simple…
Margaret: Sure it is. Joe is gone. They have no claim on any of our parents’ estate.
Phil: No. Pat and Karen are his children. They are his heirs.
Frank: They aren’t directly mentioned in our parent’s wills. We don’t have to include them.
Phil: That isn’t right. These are our nieces. Bid is our sister-in-law.
Margaret: WAS our sister-in-law. Joe is gone.
Frank: Margaret’s right: Joe is gone. We owe Bid nothing.
Phil: But…
Frank: If all three of us go to talk to Bid, she’ll back down and accept what we say.
Margaret: After all, there are three of us. We’ll outnumber her.
Phil: That isn’t going to work.
Frank: Phil, you have to choose. Us or her.
Phil: … Fine. I’m in.

Scene 2: Bid’s living room
Margaret: There is no need to yell. This is why I never liked you. No sense of decorum.
Bid: You are trying to cheat my kids and me. You’re lucky that ALL I’m doing is yelling.
Phil: Be reasonable, Bid…
Frank: Joe is gone. You have no claim on that house.
Bid: Really, Frank? How much is this because you live there rent-free?
Frank: HOW DARE YOU? That has nothing to do with this.
Bid: Not from where I’m sitting…
Margaret: That doesn’t matter. Joe is gone. You and your kids are not mentioned in the wills…
Phil: It’s better for everyone if you just accept this, Bid.
Bid: Well, better for you. You get the money, Frank gets to live in a house for free and my daughters and I get screwed. No. Not happening.
Frank: You have no claim on that house, Bid. Let it go.
Bid: We’ll see about that.

And with that, grandma threw them out of her house.

Grandma hired a lawyer and took my grandfather’s family to Orphan’s Court (now the Court of Common Pleas). She won the court case, so the house was sold, and the profits of that sale split up between my grandfather’s siblings and my grandmother.

That money put my mom and her sister through college.

My grandma and her family never talked to them again, which made for some odd situations, because they were all still living in my hometown when I was young. My grandma would occasionally point them or their families out; icy glares would be exchanged, but we never actually spoke.

Well, almost never. In the early 80’s, my grandma and one of her sisters were leaving her house to go to a Bridge tournament when Phil pulled up. He asked if they could talk, but grandma said no, that she had an appointment, though he could certainly come back.

He never did. Phil died a few months later. We didn’t attend the funeral.

Date: 2013-05-17 01:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neverletyoupart.livejournal.com
Good for your grandmother. Sad they were so concerned about a house after a death. :(

Thanks again for being my teammate on this one!

Date: 2013-05-18 01:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] medleymisty.livejournal.com
Oh wow. This reminds me of what happened when my father died without a will - his family got us out of the house, auctioned it off, and my cousin bought it. Luckily my parents had bought 12 acres of woods and my mother's name was on the title of it so they couldn't take that, and we put a singlewide out there.

Family, man.

Date: 2013-05-22 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Yes, family is ugly sometimes. I wish I understood.

Date: 2013-05-18 11:19 pm (UTC)
ext_224364: (Default)
From: [identity profile] x-disturbed-x.livejournal.com
This story seems so familiar to what a client told me about their grandparents once.

I can't believe the house almost seemed more important to them. :(

Date: 2013-05-22 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
It happens way too often. When I was in grad school in Illinois, I knew a few families who, after the parents or grandparents died, fought like cats and dogs over the farm.

It was ugly.

Date: 2013-05-20 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adoptedwriter.livejournal.com
It's a shame and all too common when these things happen. AW

Date: 2013-05-21 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] michikatinski.livejournal.com
Man, families can get so ugly when someone dies. I have a similar story from when my grandfather died. He was rather a jerk. Left big money to his mistresses and nothing to his first-born daughter, my mother. Nice, huh?

I do love reading your stories. You make a great narrator, my friend. :)

Date: 2013-05-22 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Damn. Your granddad was a jerk.

At least with mine, it wasn't him... it was his siblings.

And thank you.

Date: 2013-05-22 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] michikatinski.livejournal.com
Agreed. The story about him and my grandmother qualifies as part of my own family epic. :P

Part of it was his family, though--he left Mom out of the will entirely and apparently told his other daughter and wife that Mom was supposed to inherit the house in southern Ohio where he spent his teen years. Mom's sister sold the house instead and took the money for herself.

It would be comical if it weren't so...asshole-ish. We don't talk to them anymore. My mom's sister does talk to my mom occasionally, though, via e-mail--not sure why. She sent me an e-birthday card through Mom this year. Weird.

Date: 2013-05-21 04:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notodette.livejournal.com
I LOVED this.

Date: 2013-05-22 02:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-05-22 04:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tatdatcm.livejournal.com
You're Grandma was one tough cookie. Good for her, standing up for what was rightfully her kids.

I work a lot with property transfer and it always fascinates me when I can trace a "family feud" through the way land has been passed down from one generation to another.

Date: 2013-05-23 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Seriously. I know NO ONE from that branch of the family, and with my grandmother's generation all gone now, I couldn't even point them out to you.

Date: 2013-05-22 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
Your grandmother was a formidable woman!

But she was right, and her children needed her to be that relentless. Her husband's family's attempt to cheat them out of their due (and needed) inheritance, because her husband died before they'd gotten their act together on their parents' estate? Unbelievable.

Date: 2013-05-23 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
It was implied that there were fights over the estate before my grandfather passed, mostly surrounding Uncle Frank not wanting to move out of the house and being unwilling (or unable) to buy out his siblings.

Date: 2013-05-22 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whipchick.livejournal.com
How sad that they were never able to reconcile.

Date: 2013-05-23 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
And they are all gone now. So no reconciliation ever.

Date: 2013-05-22 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
These sorts of family feuds are always sad--death and inheritances make some folks crazy. Glad your grandma stood up for her family!

Date: 2013-05-22 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jennickels.livejournal.com
Aw, that was kind of sad. I really liked your grandmother, though.

And I'm glad my mother's family isn't like this. My mom died almost 13 years ago and my dad is still considered part of the family. They call and check on him, invite him to family reunions and family parties. He will always be their brother (not brother-in-law). That's how they roll.

Date: 2013-05-23 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
When my Aunt Ginny (one of my grandmother's sisters) died, her husband, my Uncle Pat was still part of the family, until he married a new wife, and drifted away

Date: 2013-05-23 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheshire23.livejournal.com
Your Grandma was incredible. :)


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