GOLD RUSH Happy 96th birthday Grandpa John Schnabel!

Parker's Grandpa John Schnabel Gold Rush

Today is a very special day as one of our favorite reality TV stars ever, Gold Rush‘s grandpatriarch John Schnabel, turns 96 years young!

The ALWAYS good-natured Grandpa John took the opportunity to answer some fan questions, much as he did during his amazing Facebook fan Q&A session back in December of 2014.

Here’s a video clip of John sharing some of his nine-plus decades of wisdom courtesy of Discovery:

LOVE THAT MAN! 🙂 Here’s a transcript of what’s in the clip:

What is the “most valuable” lesson you have ever learned in the many years of being a gold miner?

Well, optimism is the first ingredient that will allow you to succeed, because optimism gives you the strength to face difficulties that otherwise you would just lay down and say, “I quit.”

I think you have to enjoy what you’re doing, and frankly that is almost as important as anything else can be. If you don’t enjoy your work, you’re in the wrong place — if you can get out of that position.

Grandpa, how do I succeed in life?

You’ve got to make up your mind when you start anything that you are going to win! You can only succeed if you have confidence and [believe] that it’s possible to be a winner. Otherwise, you’re going to be left on the side of the road.

What’s you favorite thing to do besides gold mining?

It is to spend time with members of my family. Even though I am old and removed from daily contact with them, when I do have an opportunity to spend time with them, it’s with a feeling of pleasure — not filled with a bunch of questions that cause a bit of concern.

Grandpa John Schnabel throwback Wedding announcement

And a few more questions supplied by Discovery in a press release:

What would you tell a young person is the most important virtue to have?

I think the most important virtue to have is honesty. You have to be honest. When you tell the other member who you’re addressing that you love them … that you’re being honest. When you tell the other person you love them – if you’re honest in what you’re saying – you’re going to be a winner. If you’re telling them because that’s what they want to hear, then you’re a loser.

What is the best way to deal with difficult people?

Don’t give up on them. If a person is being difficult, try to find out why. If you can develop an ability to have some measure of empathy with them that will enable you to understand why they act the way they act …you can be a very valuable element in making their life better.

If you could go back 50 years and choose to do something different, what would it be and why?

It’s a thought I’ve never entertained for the simple reason that I am pleased with what I did. I’ve raised a beautiful family, I’ve helped a lot of people overcome their difficulties, I’ve tried my best to be a contributor to others — never to ask them to give something to me. If they want to give me something, I want to feel I’ve earned it. Because whether it’s their time or their help, I have to feel I’ve earned it. Or I don’t think I have done the right thing.

Here’s another clip recently posted by Discovery on Grandpa John’s relationship with Parker through his Big Nugget Mine:

We’ve covered John Schnabel quite a bit over the years, ranging from Parker’s updates on his health struggles to having a little fun by putting Parker’s hair on a throwback photo of John to highlight just how similar the two gold miners are:

Gold Rush Grandpa John Schnabel with Parker's hair

Once again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA JOHN! We look forward to seeing you more on upcoming episodes and upcoming seasons of Gold Rush. Speaking of which, be sure to check out new episodes of Gold Rush airing Friday nights at 9/8c on Discovery.

We’ll let Parker finish out this post:

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