Stories have abounded in my life as a child, and I sought to pass them on to each of you. Have a few common threads running through our childhoods.
Growing up myself, my daddy would often regale me with totally made up stories. Tall tells of his own telling. With over exaggeration abounding in his arm movements and facial expression. Sometimes I'd ask for a standard tale, and suddenly Little Red Riding Hood was safe with the Three Bears. I don't know if he couldn't keep them all straight or if it was just more fun to him to tell them that way.
Mama on the other hand, sang me songs from her youth and read me story books. Most of her songs came from a chorus book she kept as a teen. Records being a luxury in the 30's and early 40's, her and friends would write down the words to popular songs in blue song books. Then when they'd get together they'd sing the songs, just like they had heard on a radio or in a movie. Mama sung me things like "Red Wing", "Won't You Come Over to My House?" and others. I sang many of them I had memorized to you as babies and small children while I rocked you or lay in bed with you. The old blue song book was getting frail and tattered. Aunt Edna had it copied down and made copies for us. In the mess we call this house, I have no clue where my copy is.
I had story books as a youngster including "Wiggle Tail", "Sneezer", "Jolly Jingles" and "Mother Goose". Mother would read these books to me over and over. Not with as much inflection as daddy put into his stories, but it was always soothing to hear her low, light voice reading to me. Later when I had first learned to read, I read them over and over to myself. These same stories I read to each of you as babes, along with newer fair that we picked up along the way. And today, for the first time I shared one with Baby Ruth that had been one of Bug's favorites.
It's my hope that the love and warmth and time spent quietly together will transcend the generations and pass on to each of your children and even theirs. It yields a continuity to each life along the way that connects even Baby Ruth to my mother she'll never know this side of Heaven.