By JAMES BROWN
Glasgow Daily Times
Today, my seven faithful readers, I bring to you a story by a fourth-grader, mostly unedited, about her inteview of her grandfather. I am certain her view of her grandfather and his story will be compeling for readers.
Hi, my name is Chyenne Bryant and I would like to tell you about one of my grandparents and that is my grandpa. His name is James Marshall.
He was born Nov. 16, 1947, at T.J. Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow.
I wanted to know about my grandpa and what it was like when he grew up and how different their way of living was compared to mine. I asked him “Grandpa, how many siblings do you have?”
He said, “I have four sisters, two older than me and two younger.”
I then asked, “What games did you all play?”
He said, “We just played tag, hide and seek, baseball, a lot, basketball, cowboy and Indians and just games we would make up because we didn’t have electronical gadgets like you all have now.” He had electricity and a T.V. with only one channel but no phone, “So we did with only what we had.”
“Grandpa, mom and dad make me clean my room and the bathroom and my sisters have to help too. Did you have chores when you was a kid?”
Grandpa laughed and said, “Yes, I did have chores. Well, sometimes we heated with wood and one of my chores was cutting the wood and packing it in the house and another chore was mowing the grass with an old-type push mower and my older sisters had chores in the house, like cleaning the whole house.”
I asked him what his house looked like or even if he remembered when he was my age. He said the only thing he can remember about one house was an old water well on the back porch.
I asked him how big his house was and he told me it was enough room for their family and he had his own bedroom, and his four sisters shared the same room and his parents had their room.
There wasn’t much to do back then as Grandpa said. So I asked him if his parents were strict and what happened when he got in trouble. He said they weren’t strict, but he remembered one time when he did get in trouble and his Dad took a belt and wore him out and another time his Dad pushed him against the wall, but that was when he was a teenager.
As a teenager, he remembered some of his high school days and they were very strict with the rules. He said it was like prison. All boys had to be clean shaved and tucked in shirts. Also his favorite subject was math.
When Grandpa was younger, he said he never dreamed about doing anything when he grew up because there wasn’t anything to dream about, nothing he really wanted to do, although he did go to the Marines. He served four years in Vietnam.
He told me so many stories I couldn’t believe it, like he said his mom cooked pinto beans, cornbread and taters for supper a lot and they tasted so good. That made me think about our holidays, all the food my mom makes and all the stuff we get for Christmas. Now I wondered how his holidays were. He said the only one they celebrated was Christmas and they were lucky to get even one gift each. That made me sad. He said he was just happy remembering as a kid he liked running through the fields and exploring caves.
My grandpa’s first job was working at a five-and-dime store as a stock boy. I had to ask what kind of store that was and he said, it was Ben Franklin, they sold odds-and-ends and toys and clothing.
Later as he was older, he met his girlfriend in Glasgow on the square and many years later they married at a church, dressed up in tuxedo’s and gowns with 13 candles and flowers. He said she was the best lady, besides his mom, that he had ever met. She has a personality out of this world then later on they had three children, which one of them is my mom, the youngest. He said she was a wonderful daughter, she was her own person with an attitude that makes her who she is today. Now I wonder how I became in this picture and what he would say about me.
When I was born, Grandpa said, I was chubby and very beautiful as a baby and very special to him.
I learned a lot about my Grandpa that night while he was telling me all these stories. I realized like he said, we do have it much better than he did then when he grew up. It was fun learning about a lot of stuff my Grandpa did in his day.
All the good and all the bad, Grandpa said, he wouldn’t change a thing because if he did I wouldn’t be here today.
James Brown is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.