Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Wednesday's Post

April 10, 2013

‘Out of the mouths of babes’ comes humility

April 10, 2013 —     My most recent humbling experience started innocently enough with a phone call from my middle daughter, the mother of three.

    She politely informed me that two of her children, a third grader and a second grader, had volunteered my services as a guest speaker at their elementary school’s career day.

    And she reminded me that a good “papaw” never disappoints his grandchildren. Again, guilt reared its ugly head.

    I’d participated in several college and high school career days but didn’t know grade school kids were that anxious to get a jump on the job market.

    I figured that middle school and their own iPad should be their next concerns, not a job to support the families they have yet to acquire.

    My wife, a former elementary teacher, pointed out that youngsters at that age need to be exposed to the different ways that adults make a living so that they can begin to understand how the economy works.

    How the economy works?

    I started worrying that one of them would ask me why the U. S. government stopped using “gross national product” in favor of “gross domestic product”.    

The school called to confirm that I was coming to talk about the newspaper business and my job as a publisher.

    That’s when – to my surprise – I learned I would be talking with not one or two classes but with five groups of the little darlings.

    I was determined to show or tell the seven and eight-year-olds some things they had not learned at home, at school or on the Internet.

    I loaded up the old portable typewriter I used in college and on my first job as a reporter.  I was sure they would be baffled by this strange machine with no monitor, battery or electrical cord.

    I also carefully selected several photos of celebrities I had interviewed, including a former president of the United States. I knew that would make a lasting impression.

    To my surprise, several kids in each class knew it was called a typewriter. One little girl said she had seen one in her uncle’s pawn shop.

    I held up the photo of me shaking hands with President Clinton and asked if they knew the name of the other white-haired man.

    I did give them the hint that he was a former occupant of the White House.

    No one would even hazard a guess until the last class of the day when a little girl shyly offered her answer:

    “George Washington?”

1
Text Only
Wednesday's Post
  • Right way, wrong way and the Army way

    We were tired, sleepy and perhaps a bit scared about 1 a.m. when that chartered Greyhound bus rolled into the U. S. Army Reception Station at Fort Knox, Ky.

    April 23, 2014

  • What happened to the art of roasting?

    I was channel surfing recently when I happened upon one of those late night programs selling videos of old television shows.

    April 16, 2014

  • Some political stories are worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 9, 2014

  • What happened to the safety of childhood?

    In the years before air conditioning, we slept soundly and safely with the screen door often unlatched. Our family home never had a working lock on an outside door until our parents died and it became a rental property.

    April 2, 2014

  • Memory of an old foe brings reflections

    We hadn’t seen each other for about 50 years but his face came instantly to mind when I saw his obituary. He was three years older and newly out of the military when we met as college freshmen.

    March 26, 2014

  • Parents have always scared kids straight

    The tactic of “scared straight” has been used for several years to shock misbehaving teenagers by exposing them to short stints in a jail or prison cell. But that concept actually started when a mother first told a scary tale to keep her kids from doing something dangerous.

    March 19, 2014

  • She was ‘a ghost with a beating heart’…

    Be warned that this is a tragic tale of someone who couldn’t believe that others loved her for the person she was.

    March 12, 2014

  • The one-eyed monster that changed our lives

    I’m not exactly sure of the date but was at least 25 years ago when that “thing” came out of a storage closet and changed my life forever. It was a personal computer.

    March 5, 2014

  • More stuff I wish I’d said or written…

    The old sports writer wasn’t happy when the editor asked him to cover a high school band concert after another reporter became ill.

    February 26, 2014

  • Out of the mouths of babes come good words

    As the grandfather of 16 I’m constantly amused or impressed by the things our grandkids say and do. Here’s another sampling.

    February 19, 2014

Poll