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Grandfathers

September 16, 2014

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There he is: Grandfather Glass – captain of the 1912 Yale football team  (second row, second from the right; black shirt with a white Y…). I took this wonderful picture to a storytelling session at our local assisted living residence today, to accompany two stories. One woman – a regular participant – looked at it gravely, but made no comment. When both stories were finished, I passed the picture around again. She was the last person in the row.

“I recognize that…” she said softly, her voice trailing off. I’ve been around these residents long enough to know when something is happening…a memory is struggling to come out. I asked a few pointed questions. Then – in a quiet, matter-of-fact voice – “My grandfather went to Yale.”

“Really???” I said, excited and stunned.

“Yes, really…” she smiled, at last understanding the implications of what she just said.

“When?”

“1912.”

I couldn’t believe my ears. “Perhaps…my grandfather knew your grandfather…”

She beamed. “Yes, perhaps they did.”

This is the kind of magic that makes storytelling so powerful.

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