Posts Tagged ‘Grandpa John’

The Grandpas RememberTheir Long-ago Halloween Celebrations

Monday, October 27th, 2014

HalloweenGrandpa John and Grandpa Dooley were carving pumpkins for the Halloween party at the “Can Do” Street Community Center.

They didn’t notice a few of the “Can Dos” coming into the room. They were busy talking about what Halloween was like when they were kids.

Once the “Can Dos” realized what the grandpas were talking about, they ducked behind a pile of decorations so they wouldn’t be seen, but could hear what the grandpas were saying.

“Do you remember the Halloween songs we used to sing and the poems we used to recite in the Halloween plays and skits we had in school on Halloween day,” asked Grandpa Dooley. “Hmm,” said Grandpa John, “I don’t remember any poems but I do remember a song we used to sing.”

That’s funny,” said Grandpa Dooley,”I don’t remember any songs, but I do remember a poem.”

Just as they were starting to share what they remembered, one of the “Can Dos” coughed. “Whose there,” called out Grandpa John. Hector, Willie Nellie and Annie came out from behind the pile of decorations. Grandpa Dooley asked, “Were you eavesdropping on us?” “HUH,” said Hector,”What’s that?”

Grandpa Dooley answered, “Eavesdropping is doing what you just did. It’s when you hide out so you can hear what someone is saying and they don’t know you are there.” The “Can Dos” got red in the face and looked embarrassed. Hector spoke for all of them when he said, “We’re sorry. We just wanted to hear what Halloween was like in the olden days.”

Both grandpas smiled at each other and Grandpa Dooley said, “Grandpa John, should we share the song and the poem we remember from when we were their age?”

Grandpa John said, “I’ll go first. Every Halloween we would have an all day event at school. There would be square dancing, storytelling by the teachers and the principal would give each child a small box of Halloween candies. Then certain children were called on to recite a poem or sing a song.

I sang Pumpky Pumpkin. It went like this…

The candlelight inside him makes his eyes light up and gleam; he shines right through the window at you for a happy, happy Halloween.

Oh, Pumpky Pumpkin is a happy pumpkin and do you know why, cause he’s a Jack’o Lantern instead of being a pumpkin pie.”

The “Can Dos” all clapped and asked him to sing more of the song. “Sorry,” said Grandpa John, “But that is all I remember.”

Then Grandpa Dooley recited his poem.

It must be Halloween.

“It must be Halloween, for when I passed him by

A Jack’ o Lantern smiled at me and winked his yellow eye.

He grinned with all his teeth, from high upon the shelf

I didn’t feel afraid because I’d cut him out myself.”

“Wow,” said Willie. “I guess you did have Halloween fun in the olden days!”

A message from Grandpa John and Grandpa Dooley, “Why not ask your grandparents and parents what they did on Halloween?”

Movies

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Nellie, Arthur J, Annie, Kathy, Bobby, and Orrie had just gotten comfortable in chairs in front of the big screen TV set at Grandma Maureen and Grandpa John’s house.

The “Can Dos” were having a sleep over. They were in their pajamas and excited about watching two Disney movies when the electricity went off. The kids all cried out at once, “Oh no!

Grandpa John came in the living room with a couple of flashlights and a big lantern. “Looks like the storm knocked out our lights and the TV,” he said.

“But what about our movies, asked Bobby. “Well,” said their grandpa, “we will just have to figure out something else to do. I know, how about I tell you what movies were like when I was your age?”

The “Can Dos” really weren’t so interested in Grandpa John telling a story about movies in the olden days, but a story beat going to bed early, so they all agreed that grandpa’s story sounded like a good idea.

movies“Well,” began Grandpa John, when I was your age there was no TV.” The “Can Dos” looked at  him, not able to believe what they were hearing! “Nope, if we wanted to see movies, there was a special day and a special time to see movies at our local movie theater.

Every Saturday morning from September to June would find us kids waiting in line in front of our local theater. It was the only chance we had all week to see out action heroes, Flash Gordon, Gene Autry and the Lone Ranger get out of dangerous situations and save people from harm. After the action serials came two movies that were just right for kids.

About 9:30 every Saturday morning, our moms would hand us a brown paper bag with a sandwich in it for lunch, a quarter, which included money for admission to the theater, a small drink and a very small candy bar.

We would line up in front of the theater, waiting for the doors to open. While we waited we’d be laughing, telling jokes and trading lunches with our friends. Once inside the theater, usherettes with flashlights would show us to our seats and keep close watch on us during the movies.

Trouble makers were put out of the theater. There weren’t many of those; no one wanted to miss what happened to the action heroes. Besides, where would you go, if you got kicked out? If you went home, your parents would know right away that you had gotten in trouble and, as a punishment, you wouldn’t get to go the movies on the next Saturday .

If you just walked around town, a grownup was sure to spot you and call your parents. Plus, it was just too much fun to be at the movies with all our friends to risk having to leave because of bad behavior.

Before the movies started, the theater manager would come on the stage and ask us to stand, face the flag, which stood in the left corner of the stage, and put our hands over our hearts. Then we sang the our National Anthem and said the Pledge of Allegiance.

For five hours, kids made there way to and from their seats, to the rest rooms and the candy counter.

At 3 PM, the movies were over for another week. We left the theater content that our action heroes had saved the day once again. Some of us had hoarse voices from cheering our action heroes on and laughing at the funny movies that followed the action heroes.”

Grandpa John got quiet. The “Can Dos” could see his thoughts were far away. Bobby asked,”What made the movies so special?” Grandpa smiled,”Why watching them with my friends made them special. Not only did we have fun while we were watching the movies, but we had stuff to talk about all week, such as what our heroes had done and what would happen in the next action movie.”

Just then the lights came back on and so did the TV. Grandma Maureen came into the living room and said it was getting late; there was not enough time to watch even one of the Disney Movies.

The “Can Dos” were getting ready to beg to stay up late and watch one of the movies, when Grandpa John said, “How about we all meet outside the living room door at 10:00 AM tomorrow morning. Pick up your brown bag lunch in the kitchen before you line up outside the living room door. Be sure to bring a quarter with you to get into the movies and buy a juice and a small candy bar. You will find quarters on the kitchen table when you pick up your brown bag lunch. Remember, take only one quarter.”

Arthur J wanted to know if their would be any short, action hero movies before the Disney movies. Grandpa John smiled that knowing smile that grownups get sometimes. “You’ll have to just wait and see. Now off to bed with you!”

Grandpa John waited until the “Can Dos” were safely tucked in bed. Then he went to his special storage cabinet in the bookcase in the living room , unlocked it, and took out two DVD’s that contained his favorite action hero movies from long ago.

Grandpa John couldn’t wait to share Flash Gordon and the Lone Ranger with the “Can Dos”. He was so excited to be going to a Saturday at the movies after all these years!

Grandpa John’s Trains

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Bobby and Arthur J followed the sound of a hammer hitting nails to Grandpa John’s workshop in the basement;  there they saw Grandpa John playing with a set of trains.

They couldn’t believe their eyes!

Grandpa John was running a set of trains on a long track and singing a song they had never heard before…something about a Casey Jones. The trains didn’t look like any trains they had ever seen. He looked so happy!

trains

Bobby couldn’t stop himself from saying, “Grandpa, are those your trains?” Grandpa John turned and smiled, saying, “Come on in boys and see what I played with when I was your age…a set of Lionel trains. Oh, they were the best! They still are as far as I’m concerned. I’ve had these trains for over 60 years.”

These trains, like all Lionel trains are now collectors items. Lionel trains, were made from 1901 to 1969. They are known  for how solidly they are constructed and  how much they look like real trains from long ago.

Why in 2006, Lionel’s electric train became one of the first two electric toys  and the only trains to make the National Toy Hall of Fame.

Arthur J was so excited seeing the trains. He just wanted to play with them, so he asked, “What are you going to do with the trains grandpa?” Grandpa John smiled and answered, “Unfortunately you ruined my surprise. I was getting them ready for Christmas so when you came over you would see them under the tree.”

Arthur J and Bobby looked sad for a moment and wondered if, since they ruined his  surprise, maybe Grandpa John wouldn’t let them play with the trains.

Grandpa John saw the looks on their faces and said, “Let’s have a Christmas in June party. Help me carry the trains and the tracks upstairs and we will set them up on a wooden board on the big table in my den. We will set up the small artificial tree in the middle of the wooden board surrounded by the train village I got so long ago. The trains will run along the outside of the board, around the village and the tree. “

Bobby and Arthur J were thrilled! They both said, “Grandpa, your the greatest!”

Grandpa smiled and with a far away look in his eye answered, “Somehow I don’t think you and your friends will be the only ones playing with these trains. I’ve got a few friends of my own who’ll be coming over to play conductor.”

“But grandpa, said Bobby, “You and your friends are too old to play with trains!”

Grandpa answered with a grin, “You are never too old to play with trains!”

Name That “Can Do”

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

How well do you know the “Can Do” Kids? Name that “Can Do”

____________is the “Can Do” usually seen dribbling a basketball.

____________and __________live with their grandma while their mom is in the Army.

____________ wears glasses.

____________is the smartest kid in class.

____________ is the school nurse.

____________is grandma of Kathy, Annie, Arthur Jay, Bobby and Orrie.

____________visits his grandparents on the Indian reservation every summer.

____________is the coach who helps the “Can Dos” with being good sports.

____________is director of the recreation center and grandma to Yundi and Wendy.

____________is good on a skateboard but has trouble sharing.

____________always carries a note pad and wants to be a writer when she grows up.

____________wins at jump rope.

____________rode in an ambulance when he fell off his bike.

____________got lost, but Grandpa John and Policewoman Paula helped her.

____________is Nellie and Willie’s grandpa.

____________is the “Can Do” kids teacher.

____________is Hector and Maria’s grandma and an EMT.

____________has a service dog.

____________is the service dog’s name.

Can

Cold weather…a Play Date…Making Resolutions

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

resolutionsIt was bitter cold out, too cold to ice skate, or to go sledding, or even take a short walk. School was closed. So any “Can Do”who could catch a ride was welcome for a play date at Orrie’s house.

Grandpa John and Grandma Maureen had come by to help out with table games and serving snacks Willie asked, “Grandpa John why do adults make New Year’s Resolutions”? Before Grandpa John could answer, Annie asked,”What are resolutions anyway”?

Grandpa John stopped handing out fruit and sat down at the table with the “Can Dos”. All eyes were on him as he thought of the best way to explain what a resolution is.

He cleared his throat and began by saying, “Well, resolutions are kind of like promises to do things that you need or want to do. It’s about doing things that you need to do but may not having being doing such a good job about doing so far.

For instance, let’s take sharing. You know that sharing is usually the right thing to do, but it is hard to do. So, you might make a resolution, a promise to yourself or to someone else that you will be better at sharing.”

The “Can Dos” were all quiet for awhile, then Nellie asked,”Why do people make resolutions on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day”? Grandpa John smiled and answered. “That’s a very good question Nellie. The new year is seen as a new beginning, a time to begin again. A time to do things you want and need to do. So people promise themselves and their family to make changes in themselves and their lives.”

“Hmmm,” said Arthur J. “Maybe we should each make a resolution for the new year.” Hector shook his head. “Not me,” he said. “I like myself just the way I am. I don’t think I need to change a thing about me.”

Maria, his sister tossed her head and said, “Think again brother. There are a few things you need to change… like being late for school a lot and using my stuff without asking.” Hector turned red and answered, “Okay, I’ll stop taking your stuff without asking but I can’t make two resolutions, so I’ll have to wait on promising not to be late for school.” Everyone laughed.

Grandpa John said, “Let’s go around the table and each make a resolution. I’ll start. “I promise to help Grandma Maureen around the house more.” Grandma Maureen gave Grandpa John a big smile and said,”You heard that children. You are my witnesses, he promised to help me more.” The “Can Dos” all laughed.

Then it was their turns to make resolutions. Nellie promised to help Grandma Hattie with the housework. Orrie promised to turn off his computer each night the first time he was asked to do so. Willie promised to empty the trash without moaning and groaning about it. Kathy promised to share with her sister Annie more and fight less. Arthur J. promised to help his brother with his math homework when he was having a problem.

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Are you going to make any resolutions? What do you promise to do?