06-25-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal


etter to an unborn great-grandchild

Our youngest daughter, Laurie, and Jim are awaiting the birth of their first grandchild. She asked me to write a letter that will be placed in a book of nursery rhymes as a present. Sure, I can do that… but it will take a little thought. And I have been dragging up memories. The expectant mother was just a toddler, and I can see her in my mind’s eye riding her little tricycle around the house, wearing my hat which she had picked up from where I had taken it off. We were present many times as little Kelly grew up, went through high school, started her career and got married. She and husband Brad are now expecting their first. So here is my letter to that future person… someone who will grow up in a world that hasn’t even been invented yet!

Dear Unknown Great-Grandkid, You don’t know me yet, but I hope you do for at least a few years. I am in the twilight of life, and yours has not yet begun. You are going to be a citizen of a world that hasn’t even been imagined. I was talking to a kid who fixed computers. I asked him about that. He told me that the world of computers is doubling every 18 months. That was a few years ago, probably it’s even less now. I have seen most of our modern stuff being born, or at least being developed. Yeah, I’m older than dirt! But don’t let that be off-putting. When the wind is North by Northwest, I can still tell a hawk from a handsaw (literary allusion – see Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”). I still have my marbles… at least most of them. So I hope you listen to my advice. I was talking to a lady who has a 19-year-old son. I asked her if he had gotten involved with a gang. She said she’s afraid so. And she had sadness in her eyes. Don’t do that! You will surely live to regret it. If you do your own thinking you will realize that it must be you who makes the decisions on your fate. Get an education. I don’t mean just details… stuff like dates and that. Learn to think. Seek out people to listen to who are thinkers! Soak in stuff like a sponge. In order to do that, you have to be aware. I mean you have to be ‘in the moment’. You can’t go through life filling your intellectual gas tank with ‘I only wish…,’ or ‘if only I could… Be there! Carpe Diem! (seize the day) I don’t know about your dad’s genetic background. But I do know your mom’s… she is a thinker. She comes from a long line of thinkers. And doers. Her mom was a woman of action and imagination. At one stage in high school I was her English teacher. And I shoved every worthwhile book I could think of into her book bag. She soaked it all in. Her mom was Marion and my wife. She was the best RN I have ever known. And she had a lot of compassion. I can’t emphasize how important it is for you to be able to empathize with other people. You don’t have to suffer the company of fools (at least for very long). But you must be kind to everyone and sympathize with the problems that other people have. I have known a few who couldn’t do that. They were hollow, empty, and almost always very selfish. You wouldn’t believe how successful some of them have been. They built their careers on broken relationships and backstabbing friends along the way. The world is a fearful place. Probably when you are a kid you will believe there are monsters under your bed. That will be a product of your imagination. There aren’t any. But I wouldn’t give a nickel for a kid who doesn’t have any imagination! You will grow out of the monster thing. And there are other real monsters that you will have to face, hopefully later on in life. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst… just in case! Your grandparents were baby boomers. And there are a lot of them because when we came home from World War II, we got married and had several children. Your grandparents didn’t have so many children. I hope there will be enough coming up in your parents’ generation to take care of them. I don’t know what it will be like when you are old. I can’t even imagine that. My generation saved the world in a great war. I hope that is the last one. I know, we’ve been fighting dirty little conflicts time after time. I’m afraid another big war would be the end of the world. I don’t know how to prepare you for that one. I just hope it never happens. Well, Kid, I can’t think of much else to tell you. I hope you have a great life. I know we have. We loved, learned, lived, and had our share of excitement. I can do no more than wish the same for you! Once in a while think of us. That may turn out to be part of our immortality. And meanwhile we are off to even greater adventures! Your great aunt Becky has some of my records in the journals that I wrote. Perhaps someday you will want to read what it was like as we were weaving golden threads into The Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River! With love and affection, Great-Grandpa Bud (Roy M. Davis BS, MA, PhD, USAF Ret.)

Do you remember attending a family reunion or perhaps a church picnic? Notice the wooden chairs and tables. Are you among the attendees of this gathering or do you recognize any of the individuals? If you could help identify the folks at this gathering, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum to share your knowledge at 269-468-3330, or info@northberrienhistory.org. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma


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