Earlier this month, the story of the “saddest Papaw on Earth” spread across the internet like wildfire. It all began with a tweet from a young woman named Kelsey Harmon that included a photo of her beloved grandfather. Although he had spent time cooking twelve burgers to feed all of his grandchildren, only one showed up to his dinner that night.
The heartbreaking image was shared thousands of times, while Harmon was flooded with messages of love and admiration for her grandfather. When the family came together to discuss their newfound internet fame, they came up with an idea for a way to thank those who had sent well-wishes to their Papaw.
“We were talking about the whole thing and Papaw said, ‘Why don’t we have a cookout?'” Kelsey Harmon t0ld KVUE. Now, everyone has a chance to spend some time with the Harmons and shake the hand of the now-famous Papaw. They will also be selling t-shirts for the occasion, with proceeds going towards the grandchildren’s college funds. “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,” Harmon explained.
“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,” grandson Brock Harmon said. “No one would ever think that our Papaw would be the most famous Papaw in the world.”
Although Brock says he’s received some death threats over the Papaw burger debacle, he’s taking it in stride. He also says that the messages he’s received have been overwhelmingly positive, and hopes that his mistake helps others do the right thing in the future.
“We don’t want anyone to think we’re doing this for fame. We’re a very family-oriented family. We communicate all the time,” Harmon says. “We want people to learn a lesson from this — call your grandparents, tell them you love them, go eat with them.”