Their Parents Were Awesome
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Paula & Jimmy2 of 12
While we know her best as the Food Network chef who doesn’t shy away from butter, Paula’s son Jamie contributed a story of how his "good Southern girl" mom fell head-over-heels for Jimmy, a bad boy from the proverbial "wrong side of the tracks."
David3 of 12
According to Jackie Mancini, her dad, David, is the first person she calls when she has a crazy story to tell. She writes about how she can never escape the spirit of her father, an adventurous nomad who once shared a mattress with other artists and vagabonds.
Bob & Leslie4 of 12
Bex Schwartz's parents met as college hippies (though Bob would say that Leslie wasn't truly a hippie, because she hated going bra-less). When Leslie became fatally ill later in life, Bob couldn't help but go back to his liberal roots, wondering aloud to Bex how her mother could lose her life when "Bush and Cheney [were] still alive."
Chuck5 of 12
Alex Blagg's parents went on Family Feud and lost. However, his mom Debra called in to contest a factual error that had prevented her and Chuck from clinching the victory. After being invited back on the show, they went on to win four times.
Teena6 of 12
Stay-at-home dad Mike Adamick recalls the time he asked his mom to buy him "cool" jeans from the mall. (Mike's mother firmly believed in the value of reused clothes and hand-me-downs.) He writes of a picture he has of his mother in shiny, bright red shoes. For Mike, the shoes are a symbol of his mom's hopefulness before she embarked on a life of marriage and motherhood.
Don & Corrine7 of 12
Rachel Sklar writes of the absurdity of the courtship between her parents. On their first date, her "Weird Cheesecake Guy" dad, Don, took her mom, Corinne, to get cherry cheesecake in a town an hour away. A month later, they were engaged. Today, they've been married for 48 years.
Deborah8 of 12
When comic novel writer Katherine Center takes her daughter to horse-riding lessons, she can't help but see her own mother, Deborah, in her child. Deb was a scrappy redhead who rode her horse, Peter Pan, with both urgency and ambition. Hungry to explore and keep up with the boys, she possessed a "matter-of-fact competence" Katherine says, that has remained with her for her whole life.
Christy & Teddy9 of 12
Publicist and producer Kambri Crews writes about her parents' all-too familiar tale: Good girl meets bad boy, and the two end up married with children at 19. What makes their story so intriguing, however, is that Kambri's parents were both born deaf.
Patricia & Jerry10 of 12
Mandy Stadtmiller's parents met after her dad, Jerry, was blinded from his month as a combat Marine in Vietnam and her mom Patricia stood up to her parents for the man she fell in love with—they didn't approve of their daughter marrying a man who couldn't see.
Terry & Kathy11 of 12
While other youngins were off experimenting with drugs and going with the whole free love movement, comedian Brandy Barber's parents seemed to have missed the sixties entirely. However, despite their conservative ways, they encouraged their daughter's "flaming liberal" tendencies.
Read More12 of 12
Check out Eliot Glazer's compilation of stories for more tales of people before they were parents, as told by their kids.