Grandpa Doug died a few weeks ago. He wasn’t my grandpa. He was my neighborhood’s grandpa. Always at the local elementary school being a handyman or there with his camera documenting the talent shows, the art exhibits, whatever was going on . . . even in the classes that his granddaughter wasn’t in.
We got to talking . . . and he started inviting me over for coffee. He was a coffee connoisseur, but not the kind that was snobby. He just knew a lot about it. I sheepishly asked for cream because I had heard that “real” coffee drinkers didn’t do that. He brought me cream. Happily. And we’d talk. We’d listen.
I had more conversations with Grandpa Doug and probably knew more about him than I ever did about my grandparents.
It made me think about how little we have contact with elders we aren’t related to. And, likewise, how the elders in our communities have so little contact not just with other adults, but specifically youth.Read More