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Grumpy Old Lady Is Stuck in Elevator with 3 Gang Boys She Scolded, Changes Her Mind an Hour Later — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Jul 06, 2022
05:30 A.M.
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A feisty old lady has an ongoing quarrel with teens from her neighborhood she considers a 'gang' until she ends up trapped with them inside an elevator.

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Greta Welsh had been living in the same street for over 75 years and she hated it. She'd moved there in 1947, just after the war, when her daddy bought the brownstone.

Greta was still the same (give or take a wrinkle), but the neighborhood had changed. After dark, the once-genteel street was now the hunting ground for gangs and people who earned their living breaking the laws of man and God.

Greta had been living in the same neighborhood since she was twelve. | Source: Unsplash

Greta had been living in the same neighborhood since she was twelve. | Source: Unsplash

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When she married, she and her husband Fred had stayed on, occupying the top floor. She raised her children there, mourned her parents, and buried her husband.

The bright-eyed twelve-year-old in ponytails was now an old woman of eighty-seven, but her spirit was strong and her courage high. She hated the changes she saw around her, and she fought them the best way she knew how.

So while most of the other aged inhabitants of the street either moved away or scurried along furtively to avoid the newer, rowdier residents, Greta walked tall.

Don't try to be something you are not.

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She was a familiar sight in the street. People could set their clock by her. She often heard one of her neighbors (one of the new ones) shout: "Get going, Deshawn! Miss Welsh is out and about, and that means you are LATE!"

In her sharp gray overcoat, her elegant white hair, and her silver-headed cane, Greta was a handsome figure. She strode out, swinging that cane, head held high.

It was a bold man who'd stand in her way -- or a foolish boastful teen. That was how Greta had her first run-in with the Terrible Three -- Dylan, Kingston, and Fernando.

Greta refused to be frightened in her own street. | Source: Unsplash

Greta refused to be frightened in her own street. | Source: Unsplash

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The boys were lounging around outside the local grocery store griping about the heat and wishing they had the money for sodas when they spotted Greta.

She was marching along purposefully (Greta never moved without purpose) wearing her eternal overcoat in 80ºF weather when the boys spotted her.

"Hey!" said Dylan, nudging Kingston. "Look at granny there! She looks like she has a few dollars in her purse!"

"We're not robbing NO ONE!" Fernando said firmly. "That ain't the way, man! You wanna end up like your brother?"

"Who said anything about robbing?" asked Dylan, looking the picture of injured innocence. "We just going to ask real nice..."

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And with that, he stood up and sauntered to stand in the middle of the pavement, right in Greta's way. "Excuse me, Ma'am," he said with a broad smile. "Might you be seeing your way to helping three youths to some cold sodas on a hot day?"

"I beg your pardon?" asked Greta, astounded. "What do you mean?"

For Greta, every kid on the street was a gangster. | Source: Unsplash

For Greta, every kid on the street was a gangster. | Source: Unsplash

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"Well," Kingston stood up and came over to get in on the fun. "We were hoping you were feeling neighborly and could spare a few dollars!"

Greta's eyebrows lowered into a scowl that would have made anyone who knew her tremble. "Young man," she said. "Are you robbing me or begging for money?"

"No!" Fernando said. "It's OK, Lady, they just playing!"

Dylan gave him a shove. "Shut up, Nando!" he cried, then he turned to Greta and bowed mockingly. "Whatever will predispose you to be generous, Ma'am!"

"Generous!" cried Greta. "I'll be generous! I'll give you this..." She swiped her heavy silver-headed cane and whacked Dylan on the ribs, and he immediately howled and staggered back.

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Suddenly he looked fifteen and frightened, not the tough guy he was pretending to be. Greta turned to Kingston and crooked her finger at him. "Come on, tough guy!" she said.

Kingston walked backward until he was out of range of her cane and screamed: "You CRAZY old woman!" The three boys ran off, leaving Greta triumphant.

"Look at granny there! She looks like she has a few dollars in her purse!" | Source: Pexels

"Look at granny there! She looks like she has a few dollars in her purse!" | Source: Pexels

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"Come back, you lily-livered cowards!" she screamed after them. "And pull up your jeans! Your underpants are showing!"

Hearing the noise, Mr. Lee, who owned the grocery store, came out. "What's going on, Mrs. Welsh?" he asked.

"It's those gangsters hanging around your store, Mr. Lee," Greta said. "They tried to rob me!"

"THOSE three?" asked Mr. Lee, aghast. "They're not bad boys, Mrs. Welsh. They do some work for me sometimes, deliveries. No, they cheeky sometimes, but they're not bad."

Greta sniffed. "They're gangsters!" she declared. "Look at their pants, halfway down their butts, and their hats back to front! Gangsters!"

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Mr. Lee shook his head. "Mrs. Welsh, the real gangsters come out at night. These are silly boys pretending to be something they are not. Not bad boys, not gangsters."

But Greta wouldn't hear of it. She went off to the hairdresser to have her hair and nails done just as she did every Wednesday. There, she regaled her friends with the story of her battle against the gang.

She had lunch at the local bistro, then she decided to visit her best friend Millie who lived two blocks down in an old Art Deco apartment building. She walked into the building and boarded the elevator.

Mr. Lee from the local grocery store liked the boys. | Source: Unsplash

Mr. Lee from the local grocery store liked the boys. | Source: Unsplash

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To her surprise and alarm, she heard a voice call: "Hold up!" Then a hand stopped the elevator door from closing and three boys walked in.

It was the same three boys! Greta gasped as one of the boys pressed for the fourteenth floor. The boy she'd hit, Dylan, turned and saw her. "Hey!" he cried. "What?"

The elevator lurched and started moving and Greta raised her cane. "Don't you come near me!" she said in a menacing voice. "I can defend myself!"

"Lady," Kingston said. "You don't need that cane! You've got a mouth on you!"

"Yeah..." Dylan backed as far away as he could in the elevator. "Don't hit me, lady!"

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Fernando held up his hands placatingly. "We're sorry if we scared you, we didn't mean any harm!"

Greta was angry. "No harm?" she asked. "You try to scare money out of old people and you don't mean any harm?"

Greta got into the old elevator. | Source: Unsplash

Greta got into the old elevator. | Source: Unsplash

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"We'd never hurt anyone!" Dylan said. "We've NEVER hurt anyone!"

"Old people don't know that!" Greta said, angrier than ever. "Old people are frail and weak and vulnerable and you scare them!"

"Look, we apologize..." Dylan said. But Greta wasn't listening anymore. The elevator lurched and ground to a halt. It had stopped between floors!

Greta's head felt funny and there was a huge hand squeezing her chest. She couldn't breathe! The three boys saw her hand go to her chest, and the cane fell on the elevator floor with a clatter.

Greta slumped down in a dead faint, just as the elevator started moving again. "Lady!" Dylan cried. "Are you OK?"

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Kingston said, "I think she's having a heart attack, call 911!" Then he knelt down next to Greta and started CPR.

By the time the paramedics arrived, Greta was conscious but confused. Her head was on Dylan's lap and he was stroking her forehead. "You're going to be fine," he kept telling her. Kingston was patting her hand gently and feeling her pulse.

The paramedics took Greta to the hospital. | Source: Unsplash

The paramedics took Greta to the hospital. | Source: Unsplash

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Fernando led the paramedics to the old lady and they quickly took over. "We're taking her to the hospital," they told the boys.

"We're coming too!" Dylan cried. "She's our grandmother."

When Greta woke up hours later in the ER, the doctors told her she'd had a mild heart attack. "Your grandsons saved your life," he said smiling. "You must be very proud of them!"

"My grandsons?" asked Greta astounded.

"Yes," they're waiting to see that you are alright. I told them they could see you for a minute..." the doctor said. Then he swept the curtain aside and Greta saw the three boys.

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"You three!" she gasped. "You saved my life?"

Greta's surprise didn't end there. When she was allowed to go home, she discovered that she had three companions who insisted on going with her to do her shopping and carry her groceries home.

The three boys became Greta's friends. | Source: Shutterstock.com

The three boys became Greta's friends. | Source: Shutterstock.com

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She discovered that the Terrible Three weren't so terrible after all. They were good boys, not the bad gangsters they liked to pretend to be.

What can we learn from this story?

  • First impressions aren't always correct. Greta thought the three boys were gangsters trying to rob her, but later she discovered that they had good hearts.
  • Don't try to be something you are not. The three boys wanted to have a tough image, and they almost ended up in trouble because of it.

Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about two teenagers who start harassing an old lady on a bus until a homeless man steps in and stops them.

This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com.

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