Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Making of a Pa-pa

Googie's Attic certainly wouldn't be the same without a permanent fixture named "Pa-pa." Certainly, in the eight years we have been grandparents, Pa-pa has done his share to make the memories happy ones.

It is Pa-pa that keeps our swimming pool going, builds our weenie roast fires, and gives the best rides on a John Deere Gator. So Pa-pa, on your 73rd birthday, here is a little recap featuring you and your kiddos.

It was Sooby who first made you Pa-pa on June 30, 2007. She was followed closely by her brother Pooh on Feb. 2, 2009.

Then, on Oct. 4, 2010, their little sister, Bootsie, came along. Looks like you must've really liked that red and black plaid shirt!

Son Teebo started his own branch of our family tree when Beenie (left) joined the fun on March 20, 2012. Three months later, on June 25, daughter Cookie added Zoomie to the line-up.

Last (so far) came Beenie's little brother, our little Heero, on Nov. 4, 2013.

And that, dear Pa-pa, is how we came to be the grandparents of six children in a little over six years. It has been a blur of diapers, high chairs, car seats, and sippy cups, but I am sure that neither of us would trade the experience for anything.

Just this morning, from his vacation on a Florida beach, Beenie called to sing "Happy Birthday" to you. We all echo that sentiment and look forward to many more good times to come.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Dire Prognosis

It is somewhat disconcerting, after all these years, to think that I might lose not only my job but also my home. Sad as it may be, I predict at least a 50-50 chance that, in the not too distant future, my services may no longer be needed in my current work environment.

It's not that I haven't been busy. In fact, the past eight years have found me very much in demand. At times I have had more customers than I could accommodate. Nothing or no one in the immediate vicinity is able to perform my job quite like I do. You might say I am built for this job--and I have worked faithfully and diligently at it for a long time now.

Let the record show that I have executed my duties despite considerable abuse. I have been climbed, mauled, and kicked. I have endured an abundance of pounding and caterwauling. I am often left in a total mess.

This is not my first time to be uprooted. In fact, it was just about eight years ago this summer that I was shoved into a garage in an undignified manner and stuck with a totally demeaning price tag of $15. Luckily for me, a nice lady named "Googie" came along and adopted me. She gave me a good bath, and gave me my own corner of her kitchen.

She got a good deal. I come from good stock, the Fisher-Price line. I needed very little training, and never produced a mess of my own making. I have been caught many times, however, with egg on my face as well as on my other various body parts. Still, I have stood tall, kept quiet, and never snitched on any of those little rascals who tried to make me look bad.

Just look at this innocent face:

I ask you, do you think I should be forced to leave my happy home here at Googie and Pa-pa's? Or, worse yet, subjected to another garage line-up?

I will admit I am worried. My sixth customer is just about to turn two years old, and already his legs dangle way down past my foot-rest. Is it my fault he is such a big, healthy kid? Already I have heard him say he wants to sit at the counter with my five other former customers. How quickly they forget.

So as you can clearly see, my future is at best uncertain and at worst in utter peril. Unless there is soon evidence of a seventh grandkid for Googie and Pa-pa, I am toast, and I don't mean the kind that is permanently petrified in all my nooks and crannies.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Here's to Dr. Seuss!

It's official--Dr. Seuss is immortal.

Although he died in 1991 at age 87, his heretofore unpublished book is being released this month, according to the current issue of American Profile (July 19-25, 2015, p. 6).

Yes, right there on America's bookshelves, alongside fellow Pulitzer Prize winner Harper Lee's much-anticipated Go Set a Watchman, will be Theodor Seuss Geisel's What Pet Should I Get? I can't decide which one I am the most anxious to get my hands on.

While Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird has been, up to now, the sole ticket to her widespread literary fame, Dr. Seuss's prolific collection of children's books has nurtured the imaginations of generations of children for nearly a century. Among them, I am proud to say, have been my little brother, my own children, and my grandkids.

On the occasion of his new book release nearly twenty-five years after his death, I offer him this poetic tribute, composed in the tradition of his own readily recognizable rhyme and metrical patterns. The poem is an acrostic, meaning that the first letters of each line, when read downward, spell out his name. I hope it will bring some great memories to mind as you anticipate with me the release of What Pet Should I Get?

A Salute to Dr. Seuss

The Cat in the Hat came when Mother was out.
He made our fish nervous and then made him shout.
Each Who down in Whoville remembers the day
Old Grinch came and kidnapped their Christmas away.
Do you like green eggs? Will you eat some green ham?
Oh, come on and try them--be like Sam I Am!
Remember The Foot Book and all of those feet

So distinctly unique as they walked down the street?
Elephants don't often roost in a tree
Unless Horton sits down where a bird ought to be.
Such genius poured from this pen and--oh boy--
Such a legacy left for us all to enjoy!

Geisel was great with the rhythm and rhyme.
Ev'ry kid with a book of his had a great time
Imagining characters, playing with sound
So ingrained in the words that this poet wrote down.
Each fun-loving reader, regardless of age,
Loves the way Doc could play with the words on a page.