The current generation of kids probably have no idea what a phone booth is, besides maybe a place for Superman to change into his costume. From the time phones first became something that was provided to the public for a fee, phone booths became a common sight on city streets. Then in the 1950s, a new fad began. Much like the fad of stuffing as many people as possible into a car, people decided to stuff as many people as possible into a phone booth. My guess is that like most of these strange fads, this one too, was practiced mostly by young people.
Phone booth stuffing first gained popularity outside the United States, but once it arrived stateside, in spring 1959, kids couldn’t help but join in. Basically, people would cram their bodies into the narrow spaces like sardines in a can. Some adopted other methods, such as stacking themselves horizontally. Just imagine being the guy on the bottom of the stack. All I can say is, “Hurry up, because I can’t breathe!!”
As with so many other crazy fad, phone booth stuffing became something to set a world record for. People began trying to outdo the prior record. The word record for phone-booth stuffing came in March 1959, when 25 people in South Africa piled into a booth. I can’t imagine how they could possibly fit 25 people in a phone booth, but while they were all in there, the phone rang. Of course, nobody answered the phone, because nobody could move enough to reach it. Sadly, the trend died by the end of 1959. Of course, that doesn’t mean that some of the other stuffing trends didn’t continue. I think people are still stuffing as many people as they can into a car. I just hope they don’t try to drive that way.
My great grand niece, Alice Green is a delightful little girl with a variety of things that capture her interest. As a little girl of just four years, life is just now unfolding for Alice, and she finds most of it exciting. This past year found Alice attending preschool. Alice totally blossomed during her time in preschool. She loves to count, and making new friends is a big plus too. I think sending Alice to preschool might have been hard on her mom, Melanie Harman though. It’s hard to let your little one head out into the world, I know, because it was hard for me. You just can’t believe that they are old enough to go somewhere without you, but Alice showed her mom that she was ready, and preschool has been great fun for Alice.
This last year also found Alice getting ready for some big changes in her life. Her mom married my grand nephew, Jake Harman, and they gave Alice something she has totally loved…her little sister, Izabella. Alice loves being a big sister. I think having a sibling is something Alice has wanted for quite some time. She mostly likes to entertain her little sister, but there will come a day, when Alice is more than just a playmate for Izabella. Older sisters are the role model for their younger sisters. They are looked at for everything from fashion style to makeup to boys. It’s a big job, but I think Alice will be up to the task.
In fact, Alice has been practicing her superhero skills already. She absolutely loves Superman. Alice doesn’t care about being Superman’s girlfriend either, because in reality, while Lois Lane was pretty and all, she was not the superhero…Superman was. That just isn’t what Alice has in mind. She wants to be superman. I suppose that some people would say that she can’t, but in years gone by, girls weren’t allowed to play certain sports, and now they can. So, I can say if Alice wants to be Superman, I think she can do it. Today is Alice’s 4th birthday…one she shares with her new grandpa, Dave Balcerzak, and Alice thinks that’s just perfect. Happy birthday Alice!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
As small children, most of us have no fear of things…at least not in the early years, before bedtime monsters tend to show up. We instinctively know that our parents will take care of us. Of course, part of it is that we don’t understand the possible dangers around us, and part of it…a major part is because, we simply trust that our parents are well able to keep us safe. It is a matter of trust. Things like going into a pool or lake with our parents seemed like no big deal, although if we had known, we would have realized that they were watching us like a hawk, making sure that we stayed safe. Most of us don’t really fully understand that until we have our own kids.
Like my sister, Cheryl Masterson and me, most kids think their dad can do anything. If you will notice, even though I am in back of Cheryl, and much lower on Dad’s back, my face shows no fear. I knew that my daddy would not let me fall. Somehow in his big strong hands, he had a hold on Cheryl’s hands, as well as my hands and feet. I was not afraid. In fact, I was smiling, as was Cheryl. We always knew that we could trust our dad to be there for us…not just as children, but all through our lives…for as long as he lived, we knew that he would do whatever it took to take care of us and to keep us safe. What a wonderful feeling that is. Trust…that is what it’s all about.
I think that for most kids, their dad is their first super hero figure. Like Superman or Batman, we think that they will always rush to the rescue, and they always will do their very best to be there. None of us wants to accept the fact that there might come a day when our parents can’t be there for us, whether it is because they life far away, or they live in Heaven. Most of us hope that day never comes, but if it must, then we hope we are grown adults, because we don’t want to live without them ever, but especially not as kids. Nevertheless, someday that day will come, and then we have to hope that the lessons we learned from our super hero parents will carry us through the changes in our own lives.
By then many of us have our own children or even grandchildren, and we have spent a number of years being the super hero for them. It is just a part of the journey we all take through this life. What we learn from our parents, we pass on to our kids, who pass it on to their kids. We can only hope that the lessons we pass along are of great value, and that we are worthy of the trust that our little ones place in us. I think that most of us are the kind of parent who deserves to be looked up to. I know that my own parents certainly were, and as I think of them, I feel a sense of pride and yes, still trust. I trust the lessons they taught me to shape me to be the kind of person they knew I should be. I have tried to train my children to be the kind of people my parents were…and the kind of person I am trying to be. It’s a matter of trust.
When my niece, Susan Cook Griffith met her husband Josh Griffith, she knew he was special. Susan was a single mom to her daughter, Jala and the two of them were living in a little two bedroom house. After dating a while Susan knew Josh was the one. It was February 13th, and Susan was ready to take their relationship to the next level. Josh was over at her house, and her parents dropped by with a card and a box of chocolates for them. She had just put her daughter, Jala to bed. Susan had made up her mind that if Josh didn’t propose on Valentine’s Day she was going to. I’m not sure how she felt about popping the question, but sometimes a girl just has to take matters into her own hands.
Back then, camera phones were a new thing, and Josh had one, so Susan was always asking him to let her look at his pictures. She didn’t even have a digital camera yet, so looking at pictures taken only moments before was a real novelty. Josh teasingly told her that if she got him a chocolate, she could look at the phone, but she said that if he showed her the phone, she would get him a chocolate. Susan won out. I think he planned it that way, or at least planned for the possibility. He handed her the phone. The first picture Susan saw was an open box of chocolates, but the box of chocolates held a secret. One chocolate was missing, and in it’s place, was a ring. Susan jumped up and ran to the kitchen where the box of chocolates was and opened it up. She stared at the ring, then turned around to find Josh right behind her on one knee. He asked her to marry him and, of course, she said yes. It was such a simple way to propose, but it was as romantic as it could possibly be. Susan knew that she was getting quite a romantic man to be her husband, and that life was going to be beautiful. Later, she found out that Josh had gone to her parents house and asked her dad for his daughter’s hand in marriage. It was there that the plan was devised…the chocolates, the ring, the picture, and the plan. He had thought about having her daughter, Jala bring her the ring, but then, he decided against that. While that way would have been very sweet…I think his way was more romantic.
They knew they would need a bigger house, so they bought one in October of that year, and were married in June. Josh wanted to make sure that Jala knew that he wasn’t just marrying her mom, but that he was choosing her to be his daughter too. They had a special part of the wedding ceremony for 3 year old Jala so that it showed everyone of his intentions toward both his new wife and his new daughter. Josh makes sure that they include Jala in everything, and in 2008, Josh and Susan gave, then 6 year Jala, a little sister named Kaytlyn. For Josh, both are his daughters. It’s just the way he is. Josh is a hard working man, usually working from 6am to 11pm, but usually making it in for dinner every night. When he worked on the oil rigs, the men called him Superman, and his crews broke many records during the time he worked there. For his family though, he brings on the hilarious. He chooses to make them laugh every day, and to keep life in their home happy, so he is always right there with a crazy comeback…and life is filled with laughter. Susan tells me that she could go on for hours about her wonderful man…do you think she likes him a little bit? I do. Today is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you too!!
My grand nephew, Topher, who is my niece Andrea’s son, is probably a lot like most little boys…into super heroes. They dream of being just like their favorite one. Topher is very into the Avengers, the Justice League, and my favorite, Superman. I think every boy dreams of being a super hero at some point in their lives. I suppose it is the goodness in those little boys that makes them want to rescue people in trouble…to fix whatever is wrong in the lives of loved ones and strangers alike.
Topher is the kind of kid who hates to let people down. He hates to have people upset with him, and he hates to be the reason anyone is sad…or even see people sad. He has a great big heart, and it gets broken when those around him are not happy. Topher likes everything in his world to be…happy. I can’t blame him for that. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we really could live in the Land of Perfect, where everyone is happy and all is well. The good news is that when you get around a kid like Topher, your world seems to take a turn toward the Land of Perfect…at least a little bit. It’s awfully hard to stay sad when you see a smiling, goofy, little face like Topher’s.
Topher is the kind of kid that little kids love to be around. He is very compassionate and caring, and because of his great sense of humor, little kids really Get a kick out of him. Of course, big kids do too. Topher’s big sister, Savannah is one of his favorite people in the world, as are his dad and mom. He has a serious sense of family, and feels very blessed to have the one he has. He also loves his dogs, because they are family too…especially to a little boy.
Topher is such a happy kid that he makes others around him happy too. Maybe that is why he likes super heroes so much. Super heroes save people from terrible situations, and Super-Topher saves people from sad moments and days. Does it get better than that? Today is Topher’s 8th birthday. I can’t believe that he is 8 already. Happy birthday Super-Topher!! Have a great day!! We love you!!