Over on oneminutewriter today's challenge is to write about tale that has been passed down through your family. I started to tell one story about my great-grandfather and then realised there were lots I could choose from.
My great-grandfather was born in a pub in Mumbles. At that time Mumbles was a popular haunt for wealthy yachting types and a Turkish pasha was amongst the visitors. One evening a conversation took place in the bar between the landlord, my great-great-grandfather, and one of his customers. It went something like this.
Customer: 'I hear that Turkish bloke's gone.'
Landlord: 'What, Pasha?'
Customer: 'Yeah, him.'
Landlord: 'No, he hasn't.'
Customer: 'Yes, he has. It said in the papers.'
Landlord: 'No, he's still here.'
The conversation continued along those lines until the landlord said, 'I bet you he's still here!'
The customer took up the bet - I don't know how much was involved - and the landlord went upstairs and brought down his newly-born son. 'Here he is,' he said.
'That's not Pasha!'
'Oh yes it is. Meet my son, Hobart Pasha Honey!'
(According to Chambers Dictionary, pasha is a Turkish title, abolished in 1934, given to governors and high military and naval officers.)
My great-grandfather grew up to become a plasterer who worked with different builders. One of the builders he worked for was called Mr Sparrow and he owed my great-grandfather a lot of money. One day Hobart Pasha was walking past a building and seeing Mr Sparrow on the top of it, took away the ladder before yelling, 'Your name is sparrow so now fly, you bugger, fly!'
In the early part of the twentieth century, he travelled to America and worked in Michigan on the building of the Lincoln Motor Company Plant in Detroit. After working there a few years he returned home but then went back out for another period of time during which Henry Ford took over the company. When he returned to Wales after that, Henry Ford himself (!) sent a man over to appeal to my great-grandfather to go back and work there again. By now my grandmother was married and Henry Ford offered to pay the passage for all the family, including my gran and her husband and child, to go as well. The offer was turned down but, just think, I could have been an American!