Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Creative Writing

Major Professor

Henry Griffin; Kevin Graves

Second Advisor

Erik Hansen


Grandpa Bandit tells the story of elderly Virgil Wells, an upstanding citizen who is forced to partake in criminal activities in order to be able to provide for his ailing wife, Mary. As their funds decrease and their medicare is terminated, Virgil applies for work but is overlooked. His abilities are underestimated. He's viewed as a liability because of his age. When all attempts at making an honest living fails, Virgil decides that his only option is to rob a bank.

Throughline: The common misconception that the elderly are incapable of working hard during their golden years often leaves these people in financial strain, without much assistance from the government. Many of them surrender to poverty and imminent death. While others, like Virgil, take fate into their own hands, going to extremes in order to ensure their families survival, no matter the risk.


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