About giving talks at schools and other places

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    Meyer Moldeven

    One day, when my too-faraway granddaughter self-qualified for toddlerhood I gussyup’d up my already ancient Olivetti and two-fingered my
    first ‘grandpa’ story. Finally, acceptable after several re-writes, I adorned
    the result here and there with all-thumbs sketches, added the required
    three-cents postal stamp and off it went to granddaughter.

    Tempus fugits.

    Standing in line behind my now second-grader granddaughter waiting for the schoolyard gate to open, I responded with silent dignity to
    grins and giggles from up and down the line. Granddaughter proudly pointed at
    me over her shoulder saying loud and clear,’This is my grandpa. He’s my
    show-and-tell today.’

    The teacher introduced me and I spoke for about twenty minutes, invited questions, and there were few. When I prepared to leave
    several youngsters gathered round. They wanted to know more about ‘grandmas’
    and ‘grandpas.’

    A vignette from my ‘grandpa’ stories:

    During a talk I gave to a senior citizens group a woman in the audience remarked, ‘I’m a volunteer helper in a class of first graders at
    (naming a nearby school.) I haven’t given it much thought until now, but I’ve
    come to realize that some youngsters see their grandparents regularly, others
    see them rarely, and still others see their grandparents not at all. For a few,
    grandparents live too far away, and other youngsters don’t know where their
    grandparents live or even if they have grandparents, but saddest of all are the
    kids who don’t know what ‘grandparents’ are.’

    Grandparents and grandchildren are natural allies, but when their homes are too far apart, or other barriers intervene, their alliance
    weakens. Everybody loses, including the youngsters’ parents – the generation in
    the middle.


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