My grandfather, Hanlan Vernon, was a heck of a man. He worked the CNR Railroad for forty years. Could fix nearly anything that was broken. Smoked Export A cigarettes – the kind with the pretty little Scottish highland dancer on the package. He liked a drink of rye and ginger at night – just one – mixed with 7-Up. He kept the lawn mowed and the car running.
And he read.
My grandfather loved reading. He kept a stack of books at his bedside. Tough guy literature – Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer series. Richard S. Prather’s Shell Scott series. Donald Hamilton’s Matt Helm series. John D. MacDonald’s Travis Magee series. If a book wasn’t handy he’d read the newspaper. If the newspaper wasn’t recent he’d read the funny papers.
Growing up – watching that man read – did more for instilling a deep-rooted passion for turning pages than any teacher or literacy program or librarian that I know of.
No offence intended to any teacher, librarian or literacy program that might actually be reading this blog entry.
yours in storytelling,