Friday, September 23, 2005

a tale of two round-headed boys



Once upon a time there was a little boy, first of six children, with a very round head and ears that stuck out. His mother's father was a minister in the United Methodist Church. His mother was short and enjoyed gardening. His father never had a college education, but was very intelligent and figured out his own highly successful equation for deciding when to buy or sell stocks.

The little boy loved math and science. He would fill his pockets full of rocks and ride the city bus, barefoot, down to the university geology department, where he would have private interviews with the geology teachers who would answer his questions about rocks.



Once upon another time, nearly six decades later, there was a little boy, first of four children, with a very round head and ears that stuck out. His mother's father was a certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church. His mother was short and enjoyed gardening. His father never had a college education, but is very intelligent and can assemble just about any engine from scratch, even if the parts are tossed in a box and shaken.

The little boy loved math and science. He would ask hard math questions of anyone who would listen. He came home from first grade disappointed because he wasn't going to learn decimals yet... so could his mother please just sit down and explain decimals for him?

Both boys spend a lot of time in front of the computer, playing "hard math games" and other thinking games. Neither one is bothered if their friends or classmates think they are weird or nerdy: matter of fact they kind of like being different.

Both boys also like to be outdoors (and barefoot when they can get away with it), looking at mushrooms, rocks, clouds, butterflies or whatever else captures their attention. They both love to teach (and are good teachers) and love to learn.

They also love holding babies. Since each of them has two little brothers, they have had lots of practice.



One of these little boys turns 65 tomorrow and has about a dozen patents to his name. That boy is my dad. The other is 6.5 years old and could probably explain decimals and fractions to you. That boy is my son.

As my son and I were going to the School Open House the other evening, one of his classmates came out, still explaining all of school to his mother. As the door opened we heard him say, "And this is [BigE]. He's the smartest boy I know." BigE grinned, nodded, and said that this boy was one of the funniest kids he knew.

It's a real joy to be surrounded by such wonderful (and smart) men.

Happy birthday, Poppie!

5 Comments:

Blogger Karin said...

Happy Birthday Mr. C!

And...Oh My Goodness...those are wonderful pictures! When I saw the 1st pic I realized how much your dad looked like BigE. Wild!

9/23/2005 1:18 PM  
Anonymous kim said...

That is fantastic. Don't forget to format it for some hard copy print outs!

I asked G. who the 2nd picture was and he said BigE ... then I scrolled up to the first pic and asked and he said BigE ... then, when I didn't say yes, asked, Uh ... Scott? ... and then was very impressed to hear it was Poppie.

This is one of your neatest entries ever. :)

9/23/2005 3:20 PM  
Anonymous myra said...

Aw, what a sweet post! And they look so much alike too! Thanks for sharing! :)

9/23/2005 11:21 PM  
Blogger Jean said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ralph!
Hope you have a great
birthday today!!
Kel,I liked your story and
thanks so much for sharing!
It was so funny about their
ages, 65 and 6.5!

9/24/2005 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Siri said...

I read this the other day, but keep thinking back to it. Their likenesses, both physical and otherwise are incredible. Two wonderful boys/men! The pictures where they're each holding babies is really sweet.

9/28/2005 1:33 PM  

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