Everyone belongs to a family. Family members can be different but they are all important. I have a very special family member that I want to write about. He is my great-grandfather, Mr. Leonard H. Baker Jr., or just “Grandpa.”
People are always surprised to hear that I have a great-grandfather who is alive and I’m always proud to say that I do. Grandpa is 91 years old, and he served in the Coast Guard during World War II. After the war, he came home and married my great-grandmother, Mary Lou Baker, who is also still alive, and they have five kids. They still live in the same house that they had built and raised their kids in. He worked for a rubber stamp company for many years and also spent some years working as a gardener for his boss on Sundays to make extra money for his family.
You can tell Grandpa was a wonderful dad because four of his kids still live close to him and they go to his house to see him all the time. His grandchildren visit often too and now his great-grandchildren come. We spend all the holidays together. Grandpa’s favorite is the Fourth of July. When we came home from South Africa in August, Grandpa actually arranged a special “Fourth of July” party for us since we missed the actual holiday. How cool is that?
When I go visit him at his house, Grandpa is always happy to see me. He asks me questions about school and makes sure that I’m doing well. I have a lot of respect for my Grandpa and care very much for him. He doesn’t have any favorites in the family. He loves us all the same.
Sometimes I wonder if he still remembers what it was like when he was 11; I wonder how it feels to be 91. It must be amazing to see how much the world has changed since his childhood. He’s seen so many new discoveries, different presidents, and other things. I wonder what he thinks about all these changes that he’s seen, especially the changes in technology. They didn’t even have TVs when he was my age! Thinking about this makes me want to ask him what he thinks has been good and what does he think has been bad. I predict that he doesn’t like a lot of the new technology. (But he does love TV!)
I’m 80 years younger than Grandpa and I think it would be remarkable if I live to be 91 too. I hope that if I do live that long that I’m surrounded my family like he is and loved as much as he is loved. I also hope that I live in the same house like he does.
Then I wonder what the world will be like then. The year would be 2092. It makes me wonder if Grandpa thought back in 1933 when he was 11, what the world would be like now.
Grandpa hasn’t been feeling well lately and I wanted to write this article to be sure that he knows how blessed I feel to have him in my life, to share stories with him, laugh with him and learn from him.
Sixth-grader at Bay Middle School