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Tuck's Grandparents [message #6102] Thu, 04 December 2008 07:04 Go to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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There seem to be serious questions as to whether Tuck's maternal grandparents are alive or dead. (Could the family surname be Schrödinger?)

Here are the references to "grand-" so far in the text:
First is the one I referenced in my other note on aunts and cousins: On 11/23/96, Tuck's gift list includes a grandfather, but no grandmother.

The next one is most likely totally facetious, and even if it weren't it doesn't indicate whether the individual in question is living or not. On 12/13, Travis, on a date with Valerie arranged by Lisa, is looking for a suitably benign character to compare himself to, and Val's doing her best to reject the comparisons. When Travis comes to "your grandfather", Val responds: "The one who's been married four times? The one who has slept with more women than his age? _After_ he was married? That he's _told_ us about? Well, told us or it came out in the court proceedings." We can presumably reject this one, which apart from everything else is being said by a Valerie -- the blonde from New York -- who doesn't really exist.

The one after that is, on the one hand, Tuck's only reference to two living grandparents; on the other hand, it's so stylized as to not necessarily be meant literally. At an outing with the Pack on January 19, Tuck describes the synthesizer he got as a holiday gift: "...it was literally the _only_ thing I got for Christmas - my whole family, aunts and uncles and grandparents and everyone got together and got me one, but I didn't get _anything_ else. Not even a sweater." When I discussed this originally on the This Day in Tuck History thread, the logical reasoning seemed to be that Tuck was exaggerating for effect or so used to thinking of his grandparents as a couple that he
had momentarily forgotten that only one was still alive. "Uncles", plural, also brings up questions, if taken literally.)

The next one comes from Susan, during Tuck's runaway period in mid-April. In answer to Tuck's description of time spent in the hospital ICU, Susan responds, "I HATED seeing you like that, Tuck. It was like you were dead already, like Grandma was the last year, and they were just keeping you breathing and stuff." There seems no alternative here but to conclude that the Tuckers had a grandmother who died sometime in the past after being kept on life support.

Then comes one from Mike, during his "brain sex" lecture to Tuck and Amy:
*** 19:38 9 Jun

"So," Mike went on, "those [sex] hormones affect EVERY part of your body. When you don't have them, things change again. That's menopause, like your grandmother." Mike had never met her, but he'd seen pictures. "But she went on..." and then Amy's mouth fell open. "Hormone replacement?" Mike asked a rhetorical question. "And she wasn't so damned bitchy, more relaxed, the hair around her lip went away, that kind of thing? More like your moms talk about how she used to be?" I thought she'd been nicer over Christmas, but I hadn't even suspected the reason why...

Two keys here:
"over Christmas" -- Tuck seems to be describing the most recent (December 1996) holiday.
"Mike had never met her" -- Christmas and Thanksgiving are the two Tucker family gatherings on days with religious overtones or content; Mike, as a clergyman's son, probably can't get away to see Tuck. (But it's still a surprising statement if she normally stays around for most of the Thanksgiving weekend as seemed to be the case for Derek and presumably others last year.) One thing here: Tuck doesn't THINK Mike has ever met her; it's not Mike making that statement.

A generic comment from Tuck on September 29 when in a military surplus store with Ricky describes it as "sort of like your grandfather's basement and a weird toy store rolled into one", but seems to be of no relevance to this topic.

Then finally, there's Chapter 141 and the current week, when Tuck's grandmother actually materializes along with Tuck's Aunt Cynthia and cousin Marion from New Mexico: "I didn't mind my grandmother too much, it was what she tended to bring with her" -- presumably the other relatives.

So where are we? It becomes tempting to suggest that there's some truth to Valerie's description of a much-married grandfather who'd make one or both of Sarah's sisters into half-siblings.

Failing that, it DOES seem that (1) Tuck's grandfather married again after either he was widowed or divorced, and his first wife is dead; and that (2) (assuming he's alive now), his second wife has separated from or divorced him and lives near or with one of their children. Further, possibly because she's not a direct relative of Tuck, his living "grandmother" doesn't rate a holiday gift from him. (Or the two may be feuding, with her showing up at Thankgiving and him at Christmas. But Tuck said, or seemed to say, that she was at the Tuckers' last Christmas.)

Eric
Re: Tuck's Grandparents [message #6105] Thu, 04 December 2008 16:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sir Lee  is currently offline Sir Lee
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Additional considerations:

1. It has been implied that Bill Tucker never talked again with his blood relatives after he enlisted. So it's highly improbable that the dead grandmother is Bill's mother.

2. OTOH, the Tuckers seem to regard the Laniers as "Bill's relatives." For instance, Mike has referred to Arnold Lanier as "Tuck's uncle" -- that seems to have more meaning than a kid calling his Dad's friends "Unca".

Possible deduction: on returning from the 'Nam, Bill was "adopted" as a full member of the Lanier extended family. So, the dead grandmother might be the one on the Lanier side of the family.


Don't call me Shirley. You will surely make me surly.
Grandmother Lanier? [message #6106] Fri, 05 December 2008 02:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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Not a bad idea, though I'm not sure how well it works logistically.

It seems clear from Susan's statement that she experienced that not-quite-medically-dead situation with their grandmother firsthand, presumably at the hospital.

If we're dealing with a senior member of the Lanier family, that's possible; the Tuckers apparently do travel to Louisiana for the Fourth of July more often than not, and it might be that they and the Laniers visited her in the hospital on one of those trips. Would Susan remember it so profoundly if that kind of vacation trip were the context? Depends, I suppose, on how intense the Tuckers' once-a-year meetings with her had been in the past, and one might expect the matriarch of an extended family like the Laniers to cast a significant shadow.

Is that scenario likely? Not especially, IMO, but we seem to be dealing with low-probability hypotheses here, and it's certainly no less likely than some of the other possibilities. Thanks for the addition to the list.

Eric
Re: Grandmother Lanier? [message #6107] Fri, 05 December 2008 11:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Josea  is currently offline Josea
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I think that Uncle Lanier is the Tuckerspawn's Godfather and Aunt Louisa (or is she Louise) their Godmother.


Re: Tuck's Grandparents [message #6111] Sun, 07 December 2008 19:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
stanman  is currently offline stanman
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Let Ellen say WHO'S WHO
Re: Tuck's Grandparents [message #6121] Sat, 20 December 2008 02:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LuLou  is currently offline LuLou
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Eric wrote on Thu, 04 December 2008 04:04



Then finally, there's Chapter 141 and the current week, when Tuck's grandmother actually materializes along with Tuck's Aunt Cynthia and cousin Marion from New Mexico: "I didn't mind my grandmother too much, it was what she tended to bring with her" -- presumably the other relatives.



Probably not so much the other relatives, but all the emotional baggage that comes along with it. We know that Trish's temper is at least equal to Sarah's, so we can postulate from there that Cynthia's the same way, and that they got it from their mother.

As soon as we see who all is going to be there for the weekend, then we get to figure out sleeping arrangements. It looks like in past years it's been guys - Tuck, Brian, and Derek - in Tuck's room and girls - Marion, Susan, and Amy - in Susan's room.
That leaves two bedrooms for five adults. We never did see how the sleeping arrangements broke down for 4-5 July, except in regards to who slept in Tuck's room. Susan talked about the house not being big enough for 14 people (the 5 Tuckers, the 10 Laniers and Amy).

LuLou
Re: Tuck's Grandparents [message #6132] Mon, 29 December 2008 15:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ellen Hayes  is currently offline Ellen Hayes
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stanman wrote on Mon, 08 December 2008 00:17

Let Ellen say WHO'S WHO


NO!!!!

When I make a boneheaded continuity error (er, nothing particular in my mind here, not at all), the speculations and attempted retcons allow me to recover gracefully so I can say, "Oh yeah, I meant that all along," and (if I manage to keep a straight face) everyone believes it.

So, pay no attention to stanman's post here; speculate wildly on how all the statements could actually fit together without logical contradiction.


Ellen
nosig
Re: Tuck's Grandparents [message #6135] Mon, 29 December 2008 22:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
LuLou  is currently offline LuLou
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Eric put together a succinct recap of all grandparent references. Let's apply a little logic and some fanwank, and see if we can't fix things.

1. Tuck's gift list. Easy: all of the Tucker kids pool their present for their GPs. Tuck bought G-dad, Susan or Brian bought G-mom. Next year, it'll rotate.

2. Even if none of what Val told Travis about her G-dad is true, it's likely that he's divorced from Sarah's mom, and remarried at least once.

3. Since it appears that Trish and Cynthia are both unmarried as well, the only time the GPs, uncles, etc. are all together is at Christmas. If Sarah's family comes from the New York area, it would be easier to get everyone together there, especially if the uncles still live there.

4. Dead G-ma is G-pa's second (or later) wife.

5. Menopause G-ma is Sarah's mom, who just showed up. It has to be this way, as G-ma has

6. Mike's never met her because he's got Johannsen family to deal with over the Turkey weekend, and from what he knows of her (via Tuck) probably doesn't want to.


So, one grandfather, one grandmother, one step-grandmother (deceased), possibly another SGM. Two aunts, three cousins, two uncles-who-aren't-married-to-aunts-anymore.

That work for you, Ellen?

LuLou

Re: Tuck's Grandparents [message #6137] Thu, 01 January 2009 01:26 Go to previous message
Eric  is currently offline Eric
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LuLou wrote on Mon, 29 December 2008 19:40

5. Menopause G-ma is Sarah's mom, who just showed up. It has to be this way, as G-ma has

Not sure what the rest of your comment there was going to say, but one more miscellaneous fact would seem to indicate that this one is Trish's mom as well:
from 19:38 9 Jun, quoted previously:

"And she wasn't so damned bitchy, more relaxed, the hair around her lip went away, that kind of thing? More like your moms talk about how she used to be?"

Tuck's presumably transcribing "moms" without an apostrophe -- Mike's talking here to both Tuck and Amy -- because as far as he knows both Sarah and Trish were raised by the same woman. That doesn't necessarily mean that she was their birth mother, and it makes it doubly interesting that this Grandma is in New Mexico with the third sister.

Eric
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