Tuesday, November 16, 2010


If a story is told in a forest and only one child is there to recognize its greatness, can it become a classic?

Simple or complex, brief or elaborately told, a good story traverses generations. My mother's mother, Lorraine, whom we always called Woozy (oo as in wood rather than wooed), left a legacy of good stories, a treasure trove of family and cultural histories documented in artfully illustrated bound notebooks, in little handmade booklets, and on loose leaf paper.

My grandmother died in 1990, over a decade before my son was born. Surely Woozy would have enjoyed knowing that her great grandson would spend hours poring over her stories, reading and rereading them, absorbing the family legacy. Although few outside our immediate family have ever seen the texts, E recognizes and appreciates them as classics.

E recently quoted one such classic for a Word and Grammar Study assignment at school. His teacher, understandably unfamiliar with the collected Woozy Works, signaled her mystification by circling E's answer:

It's kind of hard to see, but you might note that E even cited his source (Woozy Works). We consider this progress, as his teacher has asked him to think more about what kinds of information he needs to convey to his readers so that they'll understand what he's writing about.

For the sake of clarification, here's the original text:

Incidentally, I believe the little black dog in Woozy's picture was named Willis, as in Willis is barkin'. The name comes from a line describing the marital interests of a character in David Copperfield, wherein Barkis is willin'. Maybe someday, E will get around to reading that other classic.

1 comment:

Jean said...

OhMyGosh!!! I love this.