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Our Grampa Ed

Poetry By: EdwardJBradleySr

This poem, is an exercise in rhyming, rhythm and cadence. Intended for all ages but, most especially, for children.

On April 2, 2007, I became a grand-father for the 1st time. It occurred to me that, in the mind of my grand-child, I will always be a mystery and a curiosity. A pleasant one, I hope. His father was 27 years of age and I, 61 years of age.

Since I was 34 years old when his father was born, reaching across the years to, effectively, relate was quite a stretch. Once, another child, at a playground, referred to me as my son's grand-father. "What a smart-ass!", I thought, at the time. So! Maybe things won't be that much different. Yeah! Right! We'll see.

You see! In my mind, I'm only as old as the person to whom I am trying to relate. "A strange set of perceptions!", you might think. And you would be right. Doesn't bother me a bit.

Placing myself in the position and mindset of a child, under the age of 10, some things may seem to be different for the child than for a parent or for a grand-parent. Why!?! Of course, they are! And who am I to argue?

My thought was to portray a grand-father in a comical way. From the mind and perspective of his grand-child(ren). This is not to be taken too or at all seriously.

Some verses could be read to a grand-child under the age of 6-7 years. Other verses can be read by the grand-child, when old enough to read the verse him/herself at 7+ years. Parents and grand-parents can exercise their own best judgement in choosing which verses to read to their pre-literate child(ren) or grand-child(ren), respectively.

PS -

In raising my son, I never forgot my role and primary responsibilty was that of a father and an important authority figure in the life of my son. Love is what "smoothed and softened" the rougher edges and made discipline (seldom harsh and always thoughtful) effective and productive.

What also helped was that the year of my son's birth, 1980, was also the year Ronald Reagan was 1st elected U.S. President; a cultural, social and political father figure. The importance of this, to Americans, is much more important than one might think.

Ronald Reagan, through his films, was able to project a strong, positive, good-humored, adult male role model to myself (born 1946) and also, during his Presidency, to my son (born 1980). The Presidency of John F. Kennedy was there for me from age 14 to 17.

An important influence on the minds of American male children during their more formative years. Most true for young men who have no adult male parent-figure available in their daily lives.

This is why, I believe, I encountered few problems with more typical forms of adolescent rebellion as my son passed through his teen years.

Nullifying the negative imagery of the Bill Clinton Presidency which was to come. Though I blame those who publicized Bill Clinton's moral and ethical short-comings. More so than I blame him.

The Presidency of Hillary Clinton will be most influential as well. Perhaps and in a different way. In her case, by influencing American female children. For good or bad. How this will play for male children remains to be seen, if she should be elected. On a cultural level, the impact could be most turbulent. (This paragraph was written before the public knew of the candidacy of Barack Obama. Hence the next paragaph.)

The Presidency of Barack Obama will be most influential as well. In his case, by influencing all American children. For good, I expect. On a cultural level, the impact could be either most turbulent as well as most soothing.

My prior remarks were based on the lead article published in the Spring, 1969 issue of the Yale Scientific written by John M. Sroka. John was a classmate of mine at LeMoyne College (a 4 year Jesuit liberal arts college) in Syracuse, N.Y. An incredible achievement for an undergraduate college student. The essential finding: Developmentally-disabled or special-needs (That is, "mentally-retarded") children shared similarly negative views of the U.S. President (and other authority figures, like parents, teachers, law enforcement personnel, etc.) as did adolescents who were labelled as "juvenile delinquent".


One of the best ways to bond with your child(ren) is to read to them. Let them sit on the arm of the easy-chair, in which you are sitting, as you read to them. Watching carefully chosen films with them is another way to form a positive bond with your child(ren). Choices should be age appropriate.

Speaking from my own experience:

For a young male child, there are some quite excellent films to watch with him. Assisting with parent-child bonding. Not a good judge of inspirational films for female children (except for animated films where a "Princess" or a "Mermaid" is the main character.).

Important to remember: Children do not care about the personal adult politics of the actors portraying the main characters in any of these films. It is the portrayal of the on-screen character that matters most.

Knute Rockne: All American (1940) Pat O'Brien & Ronald Reagan.

Desperate Journey (1942) Errol Flynn & Ronald Reagan

King's Row (1942) Robert Cummings & Ronald Reagan

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) James Cagney

Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949) John Wayne

The Quiet Man (1952) John Wayne

Pony Express (1953) Charlton Heston

Arrowhead (1953) Charlton Heston

The Ten Commandments (1956) Charlton Heston

El Cid (1961) Charlton Heston

Jeremiah Johnson (1972) Robert Redford

The Natural (1984) Robert Redford

Braveheart (1995) Mel Gibson

There are many more films with adult male and female characters being portrayed as being noble and decisive in the face of extreme adversity. Choose such films with care and you will be pleased with the results.


At 10 years, my son and I watched The Ten Commandments. The same age as myself when I 1st saw it. Though by myself.

The crucial scene, creating the impression for which I was hoping, is when Moses returns from his 1st visit on Mount Sinai, with the Lord, God. His hair began to turn white and remained fully so for the remainder of the film. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my son turn his head to look at my own silver white hair (acquired at the age of 32 years - 2 years before his birth). And with a silent expression of awe. Realizing that this was just my good fortune, as was the U.S. Presidency of Ronald Reagan. I am sure, this approach will work with most young male children. For Mothers and Fathers alike. Believe it! Or not!

Submitted:Jun 29, 2007    Reads: 3,323    Comments: 255    Likes: 146   



Rise and Shine ! With Grampa Ed.

Spends All Night & Day In Bed.

"Always Sleeping !" Someone Said.

Can't Awaken Grampa Ed.

No One Knows How He Gets Fed.

"Lives On Air !" Our Grampa Ed.

"He's So Lazy !" Someone Said.

"There's No Work ! From Grampa Ed."

Some Folks Say, "He Must Be Dead !".

They Don't Know Our Grampa Ed.

"Healthy Enough!" Doctor said.

"My Cash-Cow ! Your Grampa Ed."

Kept Us All Clothed, Housed & Fed.

"Who Knows How?" But Grampa Ed.

An Active Life ! Once ! He Led !

Now Too Tired ! Our Grampa Ed !

Once Awoke ! Found Himself Wed !

Back To Sleep ! Went Grampa Ed.

No One Tells How We Were Bred !

Neither Will Our Grampa Ed !

Most Romantic ! When Abed !

"They Find Me !" Claims Grampa Ed.

Had Five Wives ! They're Now All Dead !

Meant More Sleep For Grampa Ed.

Wars Were Fought ! Some Died and Bled !

Not The Case ! For Grampa Ed.

Much In Life ! Is Filled With Dread !

Noted Not By Grampa Ed.

"Current Events !" Must be said.

Inspire Not ! Our Grampa Ed.

Must Know Something ! Stays Unsaid !

"Make A Guess !" Says Grampa Ed.

No News Story Goes Unread.

Nothing Escapes Grampa Ed.

With Eyes In ... Back Of His Head.

Hard To Trick ! Our Grampa Ed.

Sometimes Gets Hot. If Instead,

We Talk Too Much Before Bed.

"Knock-it-off ! Now ! Go to bed !"

Last Words From Our Grampa Ed !

Copyright © Edward J. Bradley 2007


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