• The grandparents of children’s book writer Phyllis Reynolds Naylor were characters. She called her paternal grandparents Pappaw and Mammaw. They began courting when she was an infant, and he was a little boy. He would pick her up and say, “This is the girl I’m going to marry.” They did marry — when Mammaw was 15 years old and still playing with dolls. In contrast, her maternal grandparents were adults when they began to court. Her grandfather sent her grandmother a letter, asking two weeks in advance if he could go with her to church. He also offered to have a prominent doctor send a letter to her father stating that the man who wished to court his daughter had a good character.
• The grandfather of Christian writer Dale Hanson Bourke was quite a lively and feisty character. One day, as he was driving during rush hour, a large bus edged him out of the lane he was driving in. This made Grandpa angry, so he rolled down his window and shouted at the bus driver to get out of his lane. The bus driver refused, saying that his bus was bigger than Grandpa’s car. Therefore, Grandpa reached for a sledgehammer he was hauling in his car, hammered a large dent in the side of the bus, then drove off. Grandpa was also a mighty evangelizer — sometimes he even grabbed people by the lapels of their clothing and asked them, “Are you saved?”
• When Grandma Moses at age 80 was invited to attend her first important one-person art exhibit at the Galerie St. Etienne in New York City, she declined to go. Why? As she explained to the gallery director, Otto Kallir, she had no reason to go — she had already seen all of the paintings. Shortly afterward, she did attend an exhibition of her paintings at a Gimbel Brothers department store in New York City. She brought some of her homemade bread and preserves, reasoning that since she had won prizes for them and not her paintings at the county fair, people would be asking her about food and not about art.
• TV’s Mister Rogers was a rambunctious kid. Whenever he was attempting to walk on a stone wall at his grandparents’ farm and his mother or grandmother would try to stop him, his grandfather, who was named Fred McFeely, would tell them, “Let the kid walk on the wall. He’s got to learn to do things for himself.” Mister Rogers loved his grandfather, and in his TV “neighborhood,” one of the characters was a lively old deliveryman named Mr. McFeely.
• When the young granddaughter of artist Edna Hibel developed “lazy eye” and had to wear an eye patch under her glasses, Ms. Hibel taped over one lens of her glasses and painted a rose on it as a decoration to make wearing the eye patch a more pleasurable experience.
• Joe, the young son of Lisa M. Wayman, RN, started chemotherapy to treat his cancer, and his hair fell out. Therefore, for his Halloween costume, he dressed up as his bald father. Young Joe even wore a fake beard. Before he died, he taught his mother not to be so serious all the time and to laugh occasionally.
• Many families have a hard time sharing a bathroom, which is sometimes the busiest room in a house. However, when Paris Singer of the family that manufactured Singer sewing machines bought modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan a hotel outside Paris to serve as her dancing school, she didn’t have to worry about that problem. Of the hotel’s 200 rooms, 80 were bathrooms!
• Not all volcanic eruptions are swift. In Hawaii, one volcano emitted molten lava slowly. In fact, residents on the island had plenty of time to leave their houses and move their household possessions out of the line of lava. In some cases, people sat on lawn chairs and drank cold beer from a safe distance as they watched the molten lava flow upon and destroy their houses.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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