Grandpas, Grandsons, and Zippo Lighters [VIDEO]

Zippo: Heirloom, 60 second version from M. Keegan Uhl on Vimeo.

In our post about how to perform the fireman’s carry, AoM reader Charlie shared a touching Zippo lighter commercial he recently starred in (he’s the soldier that gets shot). It’s about a grandfather handing down his old Zippo lighter to his grandson and recounting the story surrounding it.

Have you inherited anything like that from your father or grandfather?

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

zack March 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm

When I got Eagle Scout grandad gave me his old scout knife.

John Miarecki March 30, 2011 at 1:59 pm

My grandfather served overseas in WWII and I was lucky enough to be given his zippo from the war. I don’t use it regularly for fear of losing it, but it was a great gift and still works very well.

Angel March 30, 2011 at 2:09 pm

So touching. Makes me long for a father or grandfather…desperately.

Cj Mackey March 30, 2011 at 2:32 pm

That’s a beautiful commercial. I’m actually from the town where Zippo is made, Bradford, Pennsylvania born and bred. My grandfather worked at that factory most of his life and my dad worked there for a while too. It’s amazing to hear all of the stories in the local paper from time to time about Zippo throughout the years, including stories similar to the one portrayed in this commercial. Makes me proud of my hometown when I see stuff like this!

Scott March 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

My grandfather gave me his old rod and reel. I used it for many years until the reel broke and the main cover dropped to the bottom of the lake. I wanted to get a nice box or something for the rod though. Mount it on my wall.

Christopher Smith March 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

My grandfather passed. I had started collecting Zippos not because I smoke, but because they are immensely useful. Among my small collection is the one I try to carry most. a 1973 Zippo lighter he left for me, in his desk. It might not be pretty (he spent a lot of time with it in his shop) but it’s never failed me yet, and it always reminds me of him and his pipe.

Brian Cooper March 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm

My grandfather gave me his workbench. My great grandfather gave me his house. Both men built each with their own hands. You can’t make that sort of history.

Matt March 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm

My grandfather handed me down his belt buckle (inscribed with his nickname, “Matt”) that he had with him through the end of WW2, along with a pair of cufflinks he picked up while he was over there.

Collin March 30, 2011 at 6:15 pm

That’s beautiful. And makes me even more proud to carry a Zippo.

Chuck March 30, 2011 at 7:14 pm

I’ve got my granddad’s pipe and his Zippo. I’ve also got my dad’s Zippo from Vietnam that reads “Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club” that the 7th Fleet had made.

Will Littell March 30, 2011 at 7:31 pm

My grandfather gave passed onto me his .250-3000 hunting rifle, that never leaves the safe.

Shawn Humphrey March 30, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I have my great-grandfather’s old Stevens Favorite .22 LR, which is shot occasionally alongside my Ruger 10/22.

Brian March 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm

When my maternal grandfather died, I got a pin he had on his hat when he flew and his old Swiss army knife. When I graduated from the same college he did, I put the pin on my cap.

Last year, my dad passed on his father’s cuff links.

Chip March 31, 2011 at 5:56 am

I have my paternal grandfather’s .270 Remington 700 he used for deer hunting and my maternal grandfather’s old Masonic ring.

Bucky March 31, 2011 at 9:31 am

LOVE this video. I’ve got two of my Grandpa’s pipes and lots of memories.

Darrel March 31, 2011 at 10:07 am

I inherited a Zippo from one of my grandfather’s, and a watch from another, when they passed away.
I also received a Cross pen/pencil set from each of them. This is weird because they didn’t know one another very well, but used the same pen/pencil set.

Patrick haley March 31, 2011 at 11:44 am

My grandfather left me a collection of guns. One was his 30-06 Springfield from WW2 which he used to defend against pirates when he lived on his sailboat near Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela. Another was his stealthy James Bond style PPK. And the other gun that was left for me is my great great grandfathers saddle gun from when he was a Texas Ranger.

Venom Froggy March 31, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I can see why the grandson and his friends were so fascinated. Aside from the miraculous bullet deflection the lighter provided, I mean.

The kind of manliness displayed by the grandfather in his youth is virtually alien to today’s feminized generation.

Rob March 31, 2011 at 5:29 pm

My great grand father left me a clock that he pulled from a German Messerschmidt and had framed. It never leaves my desk and still keeps time.

Warren March 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I’ve got a ruby ring that belonged to one of my great grandfathers. I rarely wear it just because i’m afraid to lose it. I last wore it on my wedding day as a way to honor him and the other men in our family.

My paternal grandfather died three years before I was born. My grandmother gave me three of the medals he earned for World War II and Korean War service. I was close to my maternal grandfather, and I was given a Timex watch he wore daily and a tie tac. Every time I wear a tie, I wear that tie tac and think of him.

Seth April 1, 2011 at 12:03 am

My father gave me a Zippo he received from his elder brother in the 60′s. Unfortunately it walked away when I loaned it to a “friend”, a painful lesson but one well learned. No one but me uses my grandfathers pocket knifes that my grandmother passed on to me.

Edin April 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

I like Venom Froggy’s comment. I’ll repeat it here.
“I can see why the grandson and his friends were so fascinated. Aside from the miraculous bullet deflection the lighter provided…
The kind of manliness displayed by the grandfather in his youth is virtually alien to today’s feminized generation.”
This commercial is very moving. Reminds me of Band of Brothers and major Richard Winters.

Kevin April 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I was quite young when my grandfather died, but my grandmother saw to it that I received his coins, two firearms, and his Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree Honor Guard sword.

W. Boyter April 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm

My grandfather who is an American Indian and a WWII Marine recently gave me his walking cane. It is the same cane that he had received from his grandfather over seventy years ago in Oklahoma. Sometime back he had burned into the side of it his grandfather’s name and the dates he lived, and then burned in his own. He asked me to add the dates he has lived once he passes, then hand the cane down to my grandson once I have one.

Drew April 2, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I got my grandfather’s fountain pen. It was very old and yet when I rinsed it out and added ink, it worked the first time. It was a Parker 21.

Someone stole it off my desk at work.

I now own about 300 fountain pens, some vintage pens worth hundreds of dollars. But I wish I had my grandfather’s pen more than any of the others.

Mitch MCFadden April 4, 2011 at 8:26 am

I actually have 3 of my grandfather’s zippos. I use one every day, and I really do cherish them.

Jared B April 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I have my grandfather’s Zippo, but I didn’t get it until after he passed away. We were cleaning out his desk and I found it in a large ashtray he used for holding spare change. It had his initials WHM and a very cool pattern engraved on it. The finish was wearing through. The flint was stuck to the wheel, and it was dry. I picked it up, showed my mom, and said “Dibs.” She just shook her head and said “OK.” I spent the rest of that day cleaning it up and getting it working again. I carry it always, even though I don’t smoke. Grandpa had quite a collection of pipes, but my brother and I haven’t even thought about splitting them up. I wish I’d known about it sooner, so I could have asked him about its history.

Jeff April 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I have my maternal grandfathers dogtags from WWII when I was in Iraq I carried them in my left breast pocket of my cammies.

Rose April 5, 2011 at 4:34 pm

My closest Uncle Louie left me one of his Zippo Lighters, something that I treasure and will give to my Grandson.

Pete April 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm

They sure don’t make ‘em like the used to…..
(the men, not the lighters)

Matt April 12, 2011 at 2:47 am

My grandpa left several welded “art” projects, stuff he welded on breaks and after or before work at Texaco in the 50′s and 60′s. He was really an artist at heart, and he used scrap metal from his job to create masterpieces such as “Shanghai Lil’s Tea House & Pool Hall,’ – a back-alley type dive complete with passed-out drunks made out of spark plugs and wire, to guys made out of bolts and wire, playing dice in front. One 3×4′ coffee table that he and his work buddies crafted was a scale model of their shop, complete with scale metalworking punch-presses, welding bottles, and a full floor layout of the entire shop. The entire thing is overlaid with a piece of glass, and strung with small lights around the inside perimeter, making a very manly coffee table that my wife wouldn’t let me put in the house, so it sat outside, where it eventually gathered rust and fell into disrepair. I feel terrible about the legacy of my grandpa and his work buddies disintergrating under my negligent care, but now its going to require a couple dozen hours to remove the rust and refinish all the little parts.

Matt April 12, 2011 at 2:51 am

I also remember my grandpa’s bathroom drawer, where for some reason he kept 4-5 zippo-style lighters. I loved playing with those, I remember the smell, which now I recognize as metal mixed with lighter fluid. I also loved getting out his old, unused pipes and pretend puffing away. I wish I still had some of those…but I now collect a few zippos and carry one in a small pocket of my favorite leather jacket. I just like to get it out and come up with various ways to strike it, and feel its’ warmth as it gets used. Just something of character about those old lighters..

Paul April 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Almost made me cry. Almost.

Bob April 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I have a 22 lr that my dad got when he was 12,given to me at age 12, to my son at 12, and is now in safekeeping in the gun safe for when my grandson arrives. Used for “hog” killings, and many, many squirrel hunts.

Shawn G April 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm

When I was looking for an engagement ring for my now wife, my mom offered me my grandma’s. After my aunt found this out, she offered me my grandpa’s. So now my wife has my grandma’s ring and wedding band, and I have my granpa’s wedding band. I love that my wife and I wear the rings of a couple who was faithful to each other until they died.

Erick B. April 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm

When I got married I received my grandfathers cufflinks that belonged to his grandfather.

Raymond April 26, 2011 at 1:47 am

When I graduated college, my mother gave me my grandfather’s belt buckle. I wear it everyday to remind myself of the man I am aspiring to be.

Doug April 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Sure did. My grandfather was with the Big Red One of the American Expeditionary Force that went to France in 1917. He was 17 years old. He gave me his helmet with the Ist Infintry Divison designation still on it, barely.

Bryan August 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm

My Father taught me to respect ALL women and the love of a good book. I took both to heart and wrote a musical about the plight of women in 1888. I still have the utmost respect them both.

When he passed, my Mum gave me his ‘dog-tags’ I’m told he was the only man in history to be drafted twice. WWII & the Korean war too. I believe that the letter of apology was buried with him. I think he wanted an expatiation from St. Peter.

Bryan David
Man, Husband, Father,
Playwright & Lyricist

Bryan August 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

BTW Gentleman:
Having be left my Dad’s ‘Dog-tags’ Can I legally wear them in homage to him? They are NOT rank or stripes. Any Lawyers or Para-Legals out there with a definitive answer?

Thanks guys!

Bryan David

jhn mrk February 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

When I got into backpacking, my dad gave me the compass he used as a boy scout. He later went on to become a eagle scout at the age of 14. I like wearing classic Converse shoes and he gave me a pair of green Converse that he bought in the 70′s. The rubber on them has yellowed with age some. I treasure them dearly and only wear them on special occasions so I do not wear them out.

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