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Fri Sep 26, 2014, 07:06 PM

With the RS Koch story, I'm reminded of an experience with a local business and their family members [View all]

Of course, this clan does not come anywhere near the Kochs. But, there is something I've noticed about the offspring of seven and eight figure pulling business owners - they all got a bullshit story about how the owner "grew up in poverty" and they repeat it like some quasi mantra or something.

In 1993, I was dating a girl who was the granddaughter of a local business owner that was despised by the area's residents. I was 18 at the time, so I guess in addition to my interest in this young woman, I was also interested in access to this local kingpin and see how he acts, how he talks and possibly how things "work".

On Christmas Day of that year, I was invited to his home where all of his relatives got together for Christmas. And there were many relatives, perhaps 75 or more - something far beyond I was used to. The pile of Christmas presents in the living room was gargantuan. They were piled up from the floor to at least a foot or two below the ceiling surface and it had to be 8 or 9 feet in diameter at the bottom. Had never seen anything like it.

Greeting relatives out of respect for being invited to their father's home was really strange. I'd say hello, nice to meet you and all that proper stuff and just about every one of them would look at me, not say a word, then look the other way. And their humor was real weird too. The stuff they laughed at was juvenile and almost always absent of any punch line.

Later into the evening when the festivities died down, I was offered to be driven home by my girlfriend's uncle. She had driven me there, but she and her cousins gotten into the booze. On the way home, this uncle told me that this local kingpin "has a big Christmas because he grew up on a dirt floor". I replied, "Oh, I didn't know that". But, I did find it peculiar in a sense due to how everybody there totally ignored me any time I greeted any one of them and now this sap is divulging that kind of information.

Over the course of the relationship, this girl, her mom and many other relatives would go completely out of their way to throw some words in about "grandpa growing up poor". It was something that could be counted on at least once every few weeks. We could be getting together for some potluck and the discussion could be about stew beef and some relative would throw in "grandpa growing up poor". It was almost like a tick they all had.

Fast forward to 2011 when my great-aunt passed away. The young woman I had dated had been long gone for over a decade. A distant cousin drops off a few sheets of paper displaying the family tree on my mom's side.

To make a long story short, it turned out that I am a distant relative of this old neighborhood kingpin - and the girl I dated! Ugh. Gross! Okay, far too distant to have any genetic effect - but still, woof!

What I found out was that this "Oh so poor grandpa" was not poor at all. He was taken care of just like his kids and grandkids are taken care of - well funded. The story of him growing up poor was pure bunk, which explains why it always had to be brought up when the discussion didn't call for it. Overcompensation, if you will.

Over the years, I had met many small business owners who did quite well. Some of them were nice, some not - but, they all had the "grew up poor" tale. I don't know if this is some immediate defense so nobody gets any ideas on asking for money or what, but it's awfully peculiar.

When I read the story of the Koch's on the RS article and how Harry Koch's "legend" is thrown around, I was reminded of it.

Not sure if this thread will get much traction here or if anybody has a similar tale, but by all means - go ahead - ask anything you wish or share a tale. I'll be sure to keep checking back.

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Reply With the RS Koch story, I'm reminded of an experience with a local business and their family members [View all]
IkeRepublican Sep 2014 OP
JustAnotherGen Sep 2014 #1
CaliforniaPeggy Sep 2014 #2
1StrongBlackMan Sep 2014 #3
IkeRepublican Sep 2014 #5
1StrongBlackMan Sep 2014 #7
zeemike Sep 2014 #4
IkeRepublican Sep 2014 #6