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I am not ashamed of my grandparents for having been slaves. I am only ashamed of myself for having at one time being ashamed.
My childhood was great, honestly. I have all these incredible memories of my childhood. I was an only child. I always had all my cousins around. I had my grandparents around. I had my parents around. I had my uncles around - whatever.
Once, I was out of the house 93 days in a year. I was missing grandparents' days at schools and kids' birthdays and Valentine's Day, not to mention the fact that when you're on the road, you can't get anything done. I had to learn to say 'No,' cut back on travel.
There's a difference between someone who's 'harsh' and someone who is 'hard.' Life was hard. You lived in the South, as my grandparents did, and you had to survive. That is hard. In order to respond to that, he had to become a hard man, with very hard rules, very hard discipline for himself, very hard days, hard work, et cetera.
I grew up in Haughton, Louisiana. I go to my white grandparents' house, and then I cross the railroad tracks and hang out with my black grandma. We have English teachers on my white side. My grandpa is a principal. And then you go to the other side, and people have been in jail.
With the '60s era and Motown, my grandparents actually introduced us to that when I was younger, so I grew up listening to the Jackson Five, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, The Supremes and Diana Ross' solo stuff. I just loved it.
And there's a lot of that stuff with people bringing their kids, kids bringing their parents, people bringing their grandparents - I mean, it's gotten to be really stretched out now. It was never my intention to say, this is the demographics of our audience.
I used to make my grandparents pay a dollar to watch me sing 'Grease' songs and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' in their living room. I was always an entertainer, and I would always do all that stuff, but it slowly evolved into a career, which is great, but it wasn't a plan.
My family reached the United States before the Holocaust. Both of my parents emigrated from Russia as young children. My grandparents were fleeing religious persecution and came to America seeking a better life for their family.
When I'm at my grandparents', I know I literally have to do nothing but relax, enjoy myself, and enjoy my family members' company.
It's our job - as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles - to find books our kids are going to like.
I had a very difficult childhood. I was surrounded by people who had both parents, which made me feel different. Having a bit of a rougher existence early on, it made me appreciate the work ethic that my grandparents instilled in me.
I have a lot of photos of my grandparents - they're my heroes, even though they've passed away. They were always happy, positive, loving to everyone they met, and a huge inspiration to me and the reason I do what I do.
I was brought up by great parents and great grandparents who told me, 'Never, ever think that you're better than anyone else or that what you do is so important that the world won't miss you once you're gone,' and I kind of translate that into the stardom thing.
We have managed to acquire $13 trillion of debt on our balance sheet. In my view we have nothing to show for it. We haven't invested in our roads, our bridges, our waste-water systems, our sewer systems. We haven't even maintained the assets that our parents and grandparents built for us.
Kids in a home with grandparents are healthier.
That's the privilege of being a grandparent - they can indulge the children while parents have to be the bad guy. Grandparents can also be subversive and naughty with them.
As children, many of us were taught never to talk to strangers. As parents and grandparents, our message must change with technology to include strangers on the Internet.
Growing up, my mother and grandparents often talked about our family's Native American heritage. As a kid, I never thought to ask them for documentation - what kid would?
My son has godmothers, godfathers, grandparents and so many others in his life who love him as much as I do. They're there for both of us. I may not have a mate or husband, but I'm definitely not a single parent.
I've got my wife. I've got my four kids. I've got parents, grandparents still, and three really good friends. It's all you need. I'd rather have three really good friends than 20 good friends.
It's interesting that I had such a close relationship with my grandfather. Because your parents always judge you: they say, 'You shouldn't do this, you shouldn't do that.' But with your grandparents you have a feeling that you can say anything or you can do anything, and they will support you. That's why you have this kind of connection.
Those labeled felons may be denied the right to vote, are automatically excluded from juries, and may be legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, public benefits, much like their grandparents or great grandparents may have been discriminated against during the Jim Crow era.
On matters of race, South Carolina has a tough history. We all know that. Many of us have seen it in our own lives - in the lives of our parents and our grandparents. We don't need reminders.
Had my grandparents not emigrated when they did, I might have been born Jewish in Eastern Europe during World War II, or I might not have been born at all. Instead, I was born in 1942 in New York City.
My parents and grandparents listened to bacheta heavy, the true bachata from back in the day - Juan Luis Guerra, Anthony Santos. I liked the genre, but I remember thinking, 'OK, enough of this.' I would sing Usher's 'U Remind Me' to the girls in school.
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