History, presidents and pizza - all for lunch

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner for The Review

I got to enjoy lunch one day last week with one of my favorite people.

We had an interesting discussion on one of my favorite topics – American history.

Of course, it was over pizza, since it was lunch with my grandson, Aiden, and pizza is his favorite food – as it is for his cousins Ty and Nolan.

Aiden and his mother came down Friday to spend the weekend – Aiden had no school on Friday, so he wasn’t playing hookey.

Julia had some errands to run and Mee-Mee was still at work, so Aiden and I got to do lunch together.

Knowing his tastes, I chose a restaurant with an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet for lunch – do I know how to be a good Poppie or what?

In between bites – cheese pizza for Aiden, supreme for me – he told me all about what he’s learning in school.

Apparently, they are studying great Americans, because he told me he learned about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Rosa Parks.

That’s three pretty great Americans, I would say.

He knew, for instance, that Lincoln is on a penny and Washington is on a dollar bill – he somehow forgot the quarter and the five-dollar bill – and that Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus.

He also knew what year Washington and Lincoln were born, which I have to admit is better than I can do – but then, I’m at the age where I have trouble sometimes remembering what year I was born.

I was glad he didn’t ask me if I remember Washington, Lincoln or Parks when I was his age – he’s smart, but fortunately he’s not a wise so-and-so yet.

That will probably happen when he gets to be a teenager.

I was alive when Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, but I was only twoand a-half years old, so I wasn’t really paying attention to things like that.

Aiden also knew that Washington was our first president and Lincoln was the 16th, but I told him that I did know that.

When he asked how many presidents there have been altogether, I was able to tell him there have been 44 and that I could name all of them in order.

I don’t know whether that impressed him or not, but he did proceed to test me – in between bites of pizza.

“Who was the second president?”

“John Adams.”

“Who was the third president?”

“Thomas Jefferson.”

We went all the way to number 44 – Barack Obama, of course – although he did lose track of what number we were on a few times and we had to get back on track, but we managed to get through all of them.

We were interrupted a few times during our trip through the history of the presidency when he briefly lost interest and started telling me about his new friends at school, but that was probably to be expected since he’s still only six years old.

I did learn that his newest friend doesn’t like “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” which is Aiden’s favorite TV program right now, but he’s apparently capable of overlooking that little character flaw.

After all, he’s already overlooked it in his Poppie, who despite that show seeming to be on the television every time Aiden or his cousins come to visit has never learned anything about the show, the characters or the story.

But as I said, we did eventually get back to the presidents and I’m proud to say I did know all of them.

Of course, I probably could have said that Babe Ruth was the 19th president – not Rutherford B. Hayes – or that Jimmy Stewart was the 39th president – not Jimmy Carter – and he wouldn’t have known the difference, but I did.

Now I have to wait for him to start studying U.S. Geography and I can impress him by naming all 50 states in alphabetical order.

We finally finished lunch about the time Julia got back from running her errands and I headed back to work while she and Aiden headed to our house.

Naturally, Aiden turned on Netflix and started watching “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and not the History Channel or C-Span 3 American History.

Until then, I can only wait for when he learns in school about the Kennedy assassination, the Civil Rights marches, the Vietnam War, Watergate and everything that’s happened since.

That’s when I can tell him that I really did live through the history he’s studying – and he probably still won’t be impressed.


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