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MARILYN HAGERTY: Grandmas teach kids to knit, grandpas take them fishing

After being bombarded with what's wrong in this world, there is a chance to hear what it right. It comes with the annual reading of essays by fourth graders of Greater Grand Forks.

Marilyn Hagerty

After being bombarded with what's wrong in this world, there is a chance to hear what it right. It comes with the annual reading of essays by fourth graders of Greater Grand Forks.

In the essays, they describe their favorite older person. Quite often, it's a grandmother or grandfather. And many of them are there to stand and be recognized when the essay about them is read.

Mayor Brown of Grand Forks and Mayor Lynn Stauss of East Grand Forks traditionally attend the readings. There was a full house at the Grand Forks Senior Center Monday for the event sponsored by Service Providers for Seniors. Master of ceremonies was Rob Hudson of WDAZ TV.

Here, in part, is what some fourth graders have to say about older people:

• "They come to all of my dance recitals and afterward they hug me and tell me how good I was." -- Hannah Peasland, Ben Franklin Elementary School.


• "I think it's amazing to have grandparents as great as mine. If they didn't do all that stuff, I still would be happy to have them as grandparents." -- Carter Swanson, Ben Franklin Elementary.

• "My favorite older person is my grandma, Judy Kuster. My favorite meal of her is her honey mustard chicken."-- Jeff Weis, Century Elementary.

• "My grandmother lives far away and I don't get to see her often, but that doesn't stop her from loving me and me from loving her." -- Gracia Larsen-Schmidt, Century Elementary.

• "My grandma Patty is a high school English teacher in Fosston, Minn., and is retiring after this year. She has been a foster parent for 20 years. She loves puzzles and she loves theater." -- Collin Polasky, Century Elementary.

• "Even though her name is Kathy, I call her Grandma Rena. She likes volunteering at my school, mending holes in my stocking hat and playing games with me."-- Drew Melland, Holy Family/St. Mary's School.

• "My Nana Bridget is smart, pretty and nice. I love her with all my heart. If she wasn't around, my life would be a big mess." -- Lyric McGillicuddy, Kelly Elementary.

• "My Grandpa, or Papa, loves to look at flea markets and antique shops. When he comes home, he always has a bag full of anything that interests him. The things that interest him now are old, grizzled lamps.

"When I ask him a question, he always knows the answer. When I ask him how he knows it, he always says because he is the Walking Dictionary." -- Tommy Flanagan, Kelly Elementary.


• "When my Grandpa Bruce was little he lived in a very small house that didn't have any running water. I know he loves me because he is always around. He comes to watch my hockey games and other special events." -- Chase Spicer, Kelly Elementary.

• "I couldn't imagine my world without my grandpa. When I am with him I have the best time of my life." -- Isabella Whiteside, Lake Agassiz Elementary.

• "When Grandma Esther comes to our house or we go to her house, we watch Betty Boop shows before we go to sleep. In the morning, she is up making blueberry muffins and Russian tea." -- Abigail Fevig, Lake Agassiz Elementary.

• "My favorite older American is Elaine Einarson. They had no TV in their house until Elaine was 10, so they had to entertain themselves. They went outside a lot." -- Zoie Frattin, Lake Agassiz Elementary.

• "Grandpa Mike is the most sporty grandpa ever.... When I drive by his house, I always can hear the sound of his mandolin. He always laughs at my jokes, even when they're not funny. I do this baseball camp that he makes every year just for me. When I go over there now I watch the Twins play baseball on his big screen TV." -- Wyatt Peterson, Lewis and Clark Elementary.

• "I like to call my Grandad 'Grand.' He is kind and generous. He has a basement full of wood, boards and saws. He builds neat things like birdhouses, tables and chairs." Jacob Sauls of Twining Elementary School.

• "Once a month we would visit Glenn at Valley 4000. He is a 93-year-old veteran with a bushy mustache. He is the best pen pal. When I get to be his age, I hope to make people laugh by telling jokes." -- Michael Nigrila of Twining Elementary.

• "I like it when we visit my grandpa in Bismarck and we are alone driving in his car because he uses a really funny voice when he talks just to make me laugh. I love it when he comes to my basketball games."-- Ty Lorenz, Phoenix Elementary.


• "The only thing I know my grandpa is afraid of is snakes! Otherwise, he is a brave, hardworking, caring person. He taught me the value of a dollar and always says to save your money for your old age. He is on the Inkster (N.D.) Volunteer Fire Department." -- Blake Aamodt, Phoenix Elementary.

• "If everybody would treat each other as my grandma treats my family, the world would be a wonderful place. I can't imagine what it would be like without her, but I'm not going to think of that right now." -- Sadie Rygh, Riverside Christian School.

• "My grandpa is the best story teller! He has a good story every time we visit. If someone else tell the exact story he did, he would make it sound way more interesting." - Dana Walski, Sacred Heart School.

• "My Grandma Bonnie is the only person who can make me happy when I am sad or angry." -- Ellie Bowen, South Point Elementary.

• "Some of the good choices my grandpa has made in his life are getting an education, working hard at his jobs, sharing love of music by playing his guitar for others. He loves and supports UND hockey. Most of all, he's been married to my grandma for over 45 years. I am very lucky to be the only grandson of Dennis Emmitt." -- Tyler Herbeck, Viking Elementary.

• "Grandpa sings a song before we go fishing. It's supposed to be for good luck. He can't carry a tune, but we think it works for us.

"We also never miss eating a fried egg sandwich before going fishing in the morning. When we catch a fish, Grandpa tries to throw the fish and make it in the livewell. My grandpa thinks he is a basketball player! He is not." -- Alex Schill, Winship Elementary.

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or (701) 772-1055.

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