ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Granddads' Amusing Tall Tales

Updated on August 12, 2015

Grandfather had a flair for entertaining his grandchildren with some of the best spun yarns ever to come out of the Ozark Mountains. Adults found him quite amusing also.

I don’t know much about his life before he married grandmother. He was a step granddad to me. James Leland Sharpe was his name; born in 1895 in Calhoun MO. He was a retired welder from the MKT Rail Road.

According to Gramps, times were tough back in his day. I believe he originated most of the “When I was your age…” stories. Or, maybe he just recycled them. In either case we hung on his every word believing everything he said was gospel.

One story he told was about his sister’s husband who was supposedly a real tough customer. He once had an argument with his wife over a fur coat and ended up cutting it off her with a knife. It was an interesting tale; one I later learned was true. One never knew when he was “pulling your leg” or dead serious.

We lived in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, around the Fort Smith area. The country is rich in history and would be enticing to any young boy and I was no exception. He would frequently take us on hikes down the mountainside towards the creek. From that vantage point you could see the majestic mountains rising on all sides of the valley. On one excursion he pointed up towards a high cliff close to a peak.

“Ya’ll see that thar cliff yonder?” he drawled. “That thar is where Belle Starr and her outlaw gang used to hide out.” All he got was blank stares since we didn’t know who the infamous outlaw was. He was happy to clue us in.

However, he had pulled so many pranks on us and told so many tall tales in the past we had grown a little skeptical. “Yep”, he continued. “I heer’d tell that’s where they buried all their treasure.” Now, we were hooked. “If I was only ten years younger I’d climb that mountain and go digging for it.” granddad bragged. He went on to say how he’d come across an old map showing a secret path to get up there. Of course, the map got lost. The story began to smell a little fishy.

Tom, the oldest grandkid, decided to verify the tale. He asked our grandmothers’ brother, Leonard, about the story. Leonard, being in cahoots with granddad, assured us it was true. We planned an expedition. Grandmother, however, told us it was all nonsense and forbid it.

We grew up and classified the story as another of granddads’ famous “tall tales”. But about the age of twenty-five I revisited “The Old Farm” and remembered the story. I decided to check it out and climbed that mountain to the cliff. Hot, sweaty and tired after an hour of steep uphill scaling, I reached the secluded cliff.

There were the ruins of an old shack with what used to be a path trailing off to the other side of the mountain. A few small tools and bottles dating back to the days in which Belle Starr would have lived were scattered around. I began to wonder if…NAW!!!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ROBERTHEWETTSR profile image

      rOBERT hEWETT SR. 

      6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      I loved this hub. I grew up in Texas on tales my dad told us. Some true and some made up. You might enjoy my hub about my fathers stories. I will be back to read more for you. Robert

    • K J Page profile image

      K J Page 

      8 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Loved the story of the log cabin - your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man!!

    • JY3502 profile imageAUTHOR

      John Young 

      8 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

      Thanks Putz...I keep trying. And you can't make this stuff up! LOL

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 

      8 years ago

      Great hub

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)