“Sad Grandpa” is having a cookout, and you are invited!
Kenneth Harmon, the Oklahoma man whose grandchildren failed to show up for dinner last week, has decided to invite anybody and everybody to a giant cookout next week, to be held at a flea market the family owns, WXIA (Atlanta) is reporting.
Last week, Mr. Harmon became a viral internet sensation when his granddaughter, Kelsey Harmon, posted a picture of the grandfather trying to eat a hamburger while fighting back tears.
dinner with papaw tonight…❤️ he made 12 burgers for all 6 grandkids and I’m the only one who showed.???? love him pic.twitter.com/0z0DkPtUiR
— kelsey (@kelssseyharmon) March 17, 2016
Mr. Harmon became a viral internet sensation. As of this writing, the heartbreaking photo has been “Favorited” on Twitter over 280,000 times, and re-tweeted over 171,000 times. Mr. Harmon earned the nickname “Sad Grandpa,” and the photo started a national conversation about spending time with our elderly relatives.
“I can’t look at that papaw picture without cry… who does that to their grandfather?”
“I started crying when I saw this. All he wanted was to spend time with them.”
“This breaks my heart. I’d do anything to eat dinner with my grandparents again.”
Unfortunately, some observers took Mr. Harmon’s story a little too seriously: according to this Inquisitr report, the grandkids who didn’t make it to Sad Grandpa’s dinner have been getting death threats online.
As it turns out, Sad Grandpa’s story is less about heartless grandkids bailing on a lonely old man and more about a much more mundane problem: a breakdown in communication. Speaking to Inside Edition last week, Mr. Sad Grandpa (or “PawPaw,” as his grandkids call him) said that the five grandkids who didn’t make it to dinner were likely not aware that they had been invited.
“Everyone was invited but that is not the way it turned out. Some of the grandkids say they didn’t know about it.”
In fact, even as his story was going viral just hours after the missed dinner, Mr. Harmon was able to spend time with at least one of his other grandkids: his grandson Brock took him to a softball game to watch another grandson play. The other grandkids have all also promised to make it up to him.
And now, the Harmon grandkids, whose story of the missed dinner has gone public, have decided to make things right in the most public way possible: by having a cookout and inviting the whole country.
On Saturday, Harmon’s grandson Brock posted on his Facebook page that his grandfather is hosting another cookout, and this time everyone is invited.
As of this writing, Harmon’s post has been shared over 51,000 times on Facebook. Harmon says that at least 3,000 people have told him that they plan to attend.
“Hopefully, people come in, eat, get their pictures taken, hang out for thirty minutes or so and be courteous enough to make room for other people to show up.”
Brock says he and his family hope to use the proceeds from the cookout to set up college funds for the Harmon grandkids. Kelsey and Brock Harmon are both in college — the other grandkids are in high school and looking toward college in the coming years.
The family is also looking into deserving charities.
Brock Harmon said that he, his grandfather, his cousins, and the rest of the family are surprised at how a seemingly mundane photo blew up the internet and made their family mini-celebrities.
“We can’t believe something that small blew up like this. It’s crazy how social media can take something so little and magnify it to be ridiculously crazy. No one would ever think that our Papaw would be the most famous Papaw in the world.”
Are you interested in going to Sad Grandpa’s cookout? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via Shutterstock/Alexander Raths]