My maternal grandfather was one such person. He would write letters to friends/relatives in the old country--all in Slavic, which uses the Russian alphabet. One story about him was that when he was working the cash register for my uncle at his garage, Grandpa sometimes mistakenly gave out $20 bills as part of the change. One loyal customer told my uncle, "You'd better watch him."
My grandfather also loved to go to the Buckhorn Inn, the local bar owned and operated by my mother and her sisters. Everyone knew Joe as a shuffle board shark. No one could beat him. A neighbor confided with me, though, that he did beat him once. The neighbor admitted that Grandpa Joe was a force to be contended with.
A third story about Grandpa Joe was his practice about getting beer. My mother said he'd rub a little lard on the inside of his container. No matter how the bartender shook that container, the beer wouldn't foam, so Grandpa ensured his fair share of beer at purchase.
Anotherr character I remember was my next-door neighbor Russell Goedeke (GEH doh key).. By "next-door," I mean the nearest neighbor. We lived in a rural farm area. As a child, it took me about 15 minutes or so to walk to their house. Mr. Goedeke seemed to always be impatient and in a foul mood. His demeanor took its toll one day, and he lost his left hand trying to free the jammed hay in his baler. I never knew him with two hands. When he'd get angry, he'd waive that left-armed stump in the air. That left quite an impression on me. I can still see him standing and waiving that stump. May his soul rest in peace.
My elder brother was a third character from my childhood. He was always pulling practical jokes and soften any frustration with his wide, winning smile. I wrote about him when I first started here at Hub Pages. The article is no longer published, but I incorporated it into my first eBook through Book Country. John was a lot of fun. There was nothing too serious in life that he couldn't handle, except maybe the leukemia that took him at age 32. God bless him!