Alex Asks Grandpa About the Olden Days: A 1940s Story
Written by Gary L. Wilhelm, Edited by Carolyn Wilhelm, Illustrator Pieter Els
In this story, a young child is wondering about the “olden days” when his grandpa was young like him. His mother takes the child to Grandpa’s house so he can ask some questions about life long ago. Grandpa had lived in a small house with a metal roof in South Dakota. Coal was burned to provide heat in the winter. In those days, there was no air conditioning, and people opened windows instead. The backyard had a vegetable garden. Three generations lived in the house.
Lexile Level 700L
The wooden party-line phone on the wall had no apps. There was no television, but radio shows told stories such as the Lone Ranger. Books such as the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries were popular.
Grandpa’s other grandparents lived on a farm and would sometimes burn corncobs. The farm had animals such as workhorses who were named Tom and Jerry. Chicks could be ordered through the mail, and the post office was full of chirping when they arrived each spring. Harvest time was special with the use of a threshing machine.
Around the neighborhood, kids would pass the blacksmith on their bikes. Sometimes the blacksmith helped fix bicycles for the children.
Financial times were still difficult after World War Two. One of the stories involves a skunk that became dinner for someone Grandpa’s father did some work for and tried to collect payment. Needless to say, no money changed hands that day.
Grandpa’s mother taught in a one-room schoolhouse. His father had a construction company. Fishing was a popular pastime.
We hope you will enjoy this story from the 1940s.
Gary’s first book was Good Afternoon Vietnam: A Civilian in the Vietnam War.
Here is a letter-writing freebie to accompany the Grandpa book.
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Thank you for reading, Carolyn