Wednesday, May 25, 2016

More About My Grandfather

If you saw my last blog post on Facebook you probably saw this photo in one of the replies. I try not to mention my family members on the internet, but the photo was obviously posted by a family member. (Thanks, Betsy.)

Besides juggling cannonballs, as I explained in my last post, my grandfather was also a champion rower.

He told us about one time when he rowed across San Francisco Bay, a distance of about twelve miles. His brother met him at the eastern shore and the two of them carried the boat about eight miles uphill to Lake Merritt, where a race was being held.

Grandpa won the race. Then with his brother he carried the boat down to the bay, and rowed it back across to San Francisco.

Not counting the race itself, that was a trip of over 40 miles. He was certainly a strong young man.

Since he lived with us when I was a child I was fortunate to hear lots of stories from him, including his experience of the 1906 Earthquake and knowing the detective who caught the famous robber, Black Bart.

If anyone is interested I could share more of his stories in the future, but not for a while as I have other things to blog about.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I Have a Voice

Anyone who knows me is aware that I've cared about Special Needs, especially in kids, for most of my life. But the book, I Have a Voice by Joni Klein Higger and Flora Zaken-Greenberg, Ph.D, is about a child with a condition I'd never heard of before.

It's called Selective Mutism.

Jamie, the main character, is a young girl who can't talk in social situations, and she'll be starting Kindergarten soon.

Her mother takes her to a therapist who helps her overcome her fear of speaking.

This book will be especially helpful to kids with similar conditions, and I'm sure lots of doctors, therapists and Special Education teachers will want to have copies.

The information at the end of the book by Dr. Zaken-Greenberg about selective mutism will be especially interesting to adults who work with children.

Joni Klein-Higger has written the book in a friendly style so ordinary kids will also enjoy the story as it helps them become more understanding of others.

The illustrations by Eileen Goldberg are cheerful and help make the book fun to read.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Unusual Sport

Back in the late 1800s, when he was a young man, my grandfather participated in a sport most people today have never heard of. 

It was called cannonball juggling.

Players would take a 16 pound cannonball, balance it on their upper arms, and bounce it back and forth between that and the other arm simply by tightening his muscles.

The idea was to see how many times the ball could be sent back and forth without getting dropped.

I hate to think how it must have felt if anyone participating dropped a cannonball on his toes!

And I wonder if many of today's athletes could juggle cannonballs.

My grandfather was a champion at that sport. He must have had mighty strong biceps!

Here's a photograph of him posing with the ball on his arm: