733 Grandfather

Conrad talks about his amazing grandfather.

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Todd: So, Conrad, you were saying that you have a grandfather and your grandfather is ninety-seven.

Conrad: That's right.

Todd: Ninety-seven!

Conrad: That's right Todd. I think he was born in 1910.

Todd: Man!

Conrad: Yeah, ninety-seven years old and still driving.

Todd: Wow! He's still in good health.

Conrad: Yes, he's very healthy, and like I said he drives. He lives by himself. My grandmother passed away a couple years ago, and yeah, he basically can do anything he wants still.

Todd: Man!

Conrad: I mean, he still loves poker. He does that probably at least once a week.

Todd: He plays poker. Wow!

Conrad: So he's pretty sharp, still.

Todd: Does he just play for fun or does he play for money?

Conrad: Both. But usually money. I guess I should say always money.

Todd: Always money? Really?

Conrad: Yeah, he likes gambling.

Todd: Well, what else can you say about your grandfather?

Conrad: Well, you know, he's been through some tough times. During World War II he was interned along with my parents when they were babies, so he lost his... he had a business going in Stockton, California. He lost his business, his house, interned, so he made it through that. He came back out of camp and started a new business, was successful again, so I'd say he's been through a lot but he's made it through. He's made it. He's made a successful person out of himself.

Todd: So many people might not know what the internment is. Can you just explain briefly?

Conrad: Sure that was during World War II. Some people felt that the Japanese Americans who were born and lived in Japan on the West Coast were a threat to the other people around them so they decided to intern them and put them into camps. Pretty much these camps were located in the most desolate place that could be found. Sometimes a place where they used to store horses or something, and I visited one just last winter, and yeah, in the the wintertime it's extremely cold and they had to endure some very hard conditions for I think it was for about four years.

Todd: That's terrible.

Conrad: Yeah, it was pretty tough.

Todd: Back to your grandfather, how would you describe his personality?

Conrad: Well, he's still very cheerful. He's a pretty conservative person. I remember him once telling me - this is back I think the first time I voted for Reagan - and he was saying like, just talking about voting and he said, "Always vote for the older person because experience is the most important thing you can have." Yeah, so his thinking is rather on the conservative side.

Todd: Well, sounds like a great guy.

Conrad: Yeah, he is Todd.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

make it through


I'd say he's been through a lot but he's made it through.

When you 'make it through,' it means that you survive despite set backs or difficulties.

Notice the following:

  1. I am not sure the flowers will make it through the winter.
  2. The doctor was unsure whether he would make it through until his next birthday.



They decided to intern them and put them into camps.

When you 'intern' someone it means that you imprison them.

Notice the following:

  1. They interned them for political reasons.
  2. There were quite a lot of people interned during the war.



These camps were located in the most desolate place that could be found.

A 'desolate' place can be either a place where nobody lives, a place where nothing can grow or both. If the camps were in desolated areas, they were probably in the middle of open areas of land where nothing could easily survive.

Notice the following:

  1. The place where he lived was very desolate.
  2. I think they sent the prisoners to desolate places to keep them away from the rest of society.



Conrad's grandfather is still very cheerful.

If you are 'cheerful,' it means that you are happy.

Notice the following:

  1. If you try and stay cheerful, it will make everything seem so much brighter.
  2. She is a very cheerful person.

on the conservative side


His thinking is rather on the conservative side.

When you are on the 'conservative side,' it means that you like to do things in a traditional way and are not very open to or accepting of change.

Notice the following:

  1. She decorated the house on the conservative side.
  2. My parents think on the conservative side of things.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
made it • interned • desolate
cheerful • conservative
  1. The prisoners were here for a few months before they were sent overseas.
  2. She is pleasant to be around, because she is always .
  3. I can't believe that he through college without ever drinking a beer.
  4. Most of his friends are on the side , but they are very friendly.
  5. After all the trees were cut down, this area was nothing but land.