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Bud Grossmann’s
Words of the Week
for the Week of
May 21, 2017

Published as Family History
in a Gramma Letter
dated May 17, 1994

© 1994, 2017 by Bud Grossmann.
All Rights Reserved.

Cousins & Baby Bird (1994)
  Cousins & Baby Bird (1994)
© 1994 by Bud Grossmann

T & A

May 17, 1994

Dear Gramma,

      Oh, my, but I have enjoyed your two recent letters with your thoughts about receiving mail and your memories of long-ago picnics. Thank you, thank you!

      As I write the draft of this letter, I am sitting with my family in a hospital surgical recovery room, a place similar, I’m sure, to rooms you have been in more than a few times in your long life. Among the many things I admire about you, Gramma, is your willingness to take advantage of modern medicine.

      A few hours ago, your six-year-old great-granddaughter Elizabeth had her tonsils and adenoids removed and had eardrum tubes installed. Elizabeth is hooked up to an IV bottle, but occasionally she sips some juice from a cup. We have been told, when she finishes the measured dose of juice and is able to keep it in her tummy, she will be allowed to go home.

      In a squeaky little voice, Elizabeth declared that her ears are now hurting “super bad” and her throat hurts, too. She is waiting for Tylenol to begin to dull her pain. Frances gently strokes our daughter’s head and pushes strands of hair back from the area around Eliz’s mouth where blotches remain from tape that secured an anesthesia mask.

      David, age twelve, is sitting in his wheelchair and reading a National Enquirer he found in a waiting room down the hall. He has ignored his mother’s recommendation that he explore other literary genres.

      I happen to have a sore throat of my own, probably from a mild allergy to spring blossoms rather than from sympathy for my brave little girl. I am comforting myself with coffee, a “high test” brew from a pot at the nurses’ station.

      Across the room, above a shelf of stuffed toy bears and dinosaurs, a television is showing a Warner Bros. cartoon. From behind the TV, down and across the peach-colored wall, cords and cables dangle like leafless grapevines.

      The cartoon we are watching was made during the Second World War. Its script humorously encourages conservation of aluminum for the war effort and gently admonishes citizens who hoard food. This cartoon inspires me to ask you some questions about motion pictures.

      Tell me, please, Gramma, what you remember about the first motion picture you ever saw. How old were you? Where were you? What was the movie about? What did you think of it?

      What can you tell me about old-time theaters?

      Did you and Grampa go to movies when you were courting? When your kids were growing up, how often did you and your family go to movies together? Who were some of your favorite actors and actresses? What movies do you remember fondly? Did you ever disapprove of movies your children wanted to see?

      When was the last time you went to a movie house? What do you recall?

      What else do you want to tell me about entertainment? I’ve asked more questions than I usually ask; please feel free to write a hundred pages if you want to. I look forward to your reply.


P.S. Please tell Aunt Dolly I appreciate her helping you write your letters!

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