November 18, 2008
Happy Grandparents Day

Happy Grandparents Day


From RJ McHatton


the Inventive Productions Team




As Grandparent’s Day approaches (Sept 7th), I can’t stop thinking about my own grandparents. So I decided to write down some thoughts about my Grandparents and their unique personalities and share them with you.


Read down below and you will learn all about my grandparents.




Here are some good resources on Grandparents: (

Grandparents Magazine (

National Grandparents Day ( )

GRAND Magazine ( )




Great quotations about grandparents:


“The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy.”  

                                                         Sam Levinson


“What children need most art the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance.  They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life.  And, most importantly, cookies.”

                                                            Rudy Giuliani


“Sometimes our grandmas and grandpas are like grand-angels.”

                                                            Lexie Saige


“My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses.  Drinks right out of the bottle.”

                                                            Henny Youngman


“Posterity is the patriotic name for grandchildren.”

                                                            Art Linkletter


“A grandmother pretends she doesn’t know who you are on Halloween.”

                                                            Erma Bombeck


 “If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.”

                                                            Italian proverb




I have always been amazed at the many different names that kids have for their grandparents. 


Over the years of doing interviews with kids, I have heard a ton of Grandparents nicknames. 


Granny, Boomba, Pop-Pop, Nana, Mom-Mom, Grandpa, Pa, Grandma, Grandmother, Pa Pa, Ma Ma, Big Gram, Bamba, Mamaw, DaMa, Meme, etc. 


I thought it might be a good idea for a movie--to ask people about the nicknames they have for their Grandparents. 


What do you call your grandparents?




Memories of My Grandparents


RJ McHatton


My father’s parents were Julia and Robert, but we always called them Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop.  At least that is what I called them.  My sister had different names for them.  At least that’s what she says now.  I don’t remember anything other than Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop.


I remember going on long family road trips from Phoenix Arizona to go visit Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop in New Jersey.


Mom-Mom made the best sandwiches in the world.  She was half Irish and half German.  She was tall with fair skin, red hair and freckles.  I still have fair skin, some red hair, and lots of freckles.  I must have gotten this from her. 


Mom-mom always wore funny big round earings, the kind you snap on.  She loved pickles.  She used to get the big sweet ones and the dill ones too.  Mom-Mom always had a smile on her face and she used to say “well” instead of the word “what.”  I remember if you asked her a question she couldn’t hear, instead of saying “what?” she would say “well?”  I never asked her why she did that. 


Mom-Mom used to love a small glass of beer once in a while.  She was a pretty cool grandmother.  She never said anything but good things to me.  She was funny and boy could she make a big sandwich, with pickles and cucumbers and lettuce and tomatoes.


Pop-Pop was the greatest chess player I ever met.  He always took the time to play a game of chess with anyone.  In fact he probably taught more little kids how to play chess than anyone in the world. 


He used to do arm wrestling once in a while.  While playing chess he would tell us stories of the old days when he was a boxer and he worked for the FBI watching the docks in Philadelphia during the War.  He told about his working days with the Atlantic Richfield refinery for so many years. 


Pop-Pop always wore those funny looking white tee shirts with no sleeves.  He used to be able to make his muscles move in motion to a funny song he would sing.  Pop-Pop would do funny tricks with his handkerchief, where he would shape it into the size of a mouse and he would flip it across the room, making all of us kids jump out of our seats. 


As Pop-Pop got older he went to work for an insurance company doing fire inspections.  He told us the story of the time he met Muhammad Ali while he was writing up some insurance reports in a park.  He looked into his rear view mirror and he saw Muhammad Ali jogging up with a huge crowd behind him.  Pop-Pop said Ali slapped his hand on his car while jogging by.  He said Ali was in a good mood that day. 


My grandfather told me a lot of stories about my father and his childhood.  I could tell that my grandfather was very proud of his son, my father.


My mother’s parents were Veva and Kip, but we always called them Granny and Kip.


Granny was a rock solid grandmother.   I hear stories about how she was shot at the age of 14 and the bullet was still in her till her death at an old age.  I remember Granny would make cherry jams and cherry pies.  She knew I loved cherry pie, so she always made sure there was one in her fridge whenever I was around. 


Inside her fridge was also a large glass pitcher of some dark black fluid.  She said it was the China Doctors’ medicine.  She said the China Doctor medicine had kept her alive all these years.  In later years I realized it was some sort of herbal based tea or fluid.  But whenever she got low on the medicine it was time to see the China Doctor. 


You see Granny was a frontier woman who lived way up in the small country towns of Eastern Oregon.  She grew on ranches and in a hard working family.  I remember her first husband Sam, my mother’s father, had died at a young age, and that Granny supported herself by being a waitress at a diner for many years. 


I remember the incredible way she made chicken fried steak.  She would smash the meat a thousand times with a hammer to make it tender and almost melt in your mouth.   


I was with Granny the day she died of a broken aorta or some other big blood vessel that had burst.  My mother told me that when I was first born, my mother and father had some problems for a short time, so my grandmother Granny took me for almost a year.  She had been my soul-mate ever since. 


Granny was opinionated about everyone and everything.  She was funny and short.  But she had a tremendous belief in me and my fellow brothers and sisters that was incredible.  She would rather sit in the room with the kids talking one on one about the values of life then be in the other room with the big people, the adults.  Granny was one of a kind.


Kip was one funny grandfather.  He married my Grandmother Granny several years after her first husband Sam died at a young age.  I never met Sam, so Kip was always my grandfather to me.  He was awesome the way he would show us how to fish and how to do almost anything. 


Kip was a former soldier who became a cowboy in my mind.  I never saw Kip without his cowboy boots and his cowboy hat. 


I was always intrigued by the way he could roll his cigarettes with one hand and bring it up in one single motion. 


Kip was a little hard of hearing so he had a hearing aid in one ear.   Many times he would say “What?” because he did not hear anything.  But I saw a few times where someone completely on the other side of the house was talking about horses or horse racing, and he he heard every word they were saying.  Whenever my grandmother would ask him to take out the garbage or another chore he could not hear her and would ignore her.  I sensed that he could hear what he wanted to hear. 


Kip was always a working man, so I remember his wide variety of jobs, including ranching and working as a road construction flagger.  Kip always talked about hidden gold mines up in the hills and about fishing.  He showed all his grandkids how to catch a fish with just a stick and a hook and a worm.  Kip always had time for his grandkids and he was a strong role model on treating people right.


When I was a teenager my grandparents from back east, Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop, moved in with us.  My dad had the garage enclosed and turned into some bedrooms and our grandparents moved in.  To many of us grandchildren this was a shock,  We had six kids living in that house and half were rebellious teenagers. 


Looking back at those times now, I really feel grateful and lucky to have spent so much quality time with my grandparents.

They did not stay long, because they wanted their own privacy too. 


It was only a few years later that my grandparents passed away.  One by one in their own time.  These deaths were very painful and I still can feel the pain today.  But I also always go back to thinking of the great times, the grand times, that I had with each of them.


Now the chapters of life are catching up to me and I am in that grandparent stage.  I became a grandfather back in 1988 when I married Victoria and met her grandsons Adam and Andrew.  They are awesome, incredible friends who I enjoy every minute with.


Someday my children Crissy and Jason will be having kids and I will be a grandfather again.  They just graduated from high school, so we all have plenty of time for that.  No rush, kids.  I hope that I will be a good grandparent.  Someone who will spend time with my grandkids.  Give them advice.  Spoil them.  Nurture them.  Honor them.


As Grandparents Day approaches, I feel blessed to be able to remember my grandparents so well.  I try to tell my kids about them, but it is hard.  I show them pictures and tell them stories, and they listen.  But I wish they had had a chance to meet them.


My grandparents, Mom-Mom, Pop-Pop, Granny, and Kip.


I loved them so.


Best wishes to you and your family on this upcoming Grandparents Day.


Warm regards,



RJ McHatton

Inventive Productions

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