I have never claimed to be or introduced myself as an author in a literary sense. The dictionary defines an author as one who originates or creates, writes or composes a literary work
My manuals for IBM were strictly instructional. I never received Book Of The Month recognition for them. My creative stories were returned with reject slips. I mentioned in the beginning of this book how my mother credited me with inventing the autogyro aircraft. And now at the end of the book my grand daughter, Breanna, bestows upon me the title of Author.
Breanna's fifth grade class was assigned a project to introduce a personality in the classroom. Each student had to find their own person and write a lengthy introduction. Breanna had just read this autobiography and decided to present me, her grand father, the Author.
Well, this came to me as a complete surprise three days before my introduction to her class.
"No No", said I, "I haven't ever done this sort of thing."
"You have too", says she, "I've already told them you were coming Monday."
"Ye Gads. What am I expected to do?"
"Just read your book", she pleaded.
I made a few notes the night before and remembered a wrist watch I had won in an Old Navy Clothing contest. Breanna had mentioned how all the kids love Old Navy clothes. Armed with the book, my notes and the wrist watch I went to Breanna's class that morning.
I stood inside the classroom and listened to a long prepared introduction she had written. When she finished, she said, "and here he is."
I was amazed at the diplomacy and grace emitted from this ten year old, my grand daughter. She relinquished the teachers desk to me and took a seat in the rear of the room.
I expressed my appreciation to the class for inviting me.
I was asked what induced me to move to this area - a good question that allowed me to relax and tell of the problems of raising a family in city environment, my applying and acceptance in IBM. I related some of my IBM history that led to the field of writing.
I said I would read a passage from my book that involved me when I was three years old. I emphasized it was seventy- five years ago
I asked if anyone could tell me my age?
A pretty blond young lady asked, "seventy-eight?"
"You are right", I assured her and proceeded to read from the book.
When I finished, the class had a barrel of questions for me to answer; such as, "Have you ever been published?" A very intelligent question for a ten year old.
I assured him all of my IBM manuals were published, but not my creative stories. "My wall is papered with reject slips, but that does not stop a good writer. He just tries again harder."
I apologized for not having a gift for everyone. Though that was not possible I did bring one gift. I had previously decided the first person to guess my age would receive it.
I called the young lady forward and presented the watch in its original wrapping. She went back to her seat and opened the gift.
"An Old Navy watch," she exclaimed. Her enthusiasm and appreciation rallied the entire class around her. The scene made me realize my efforts were not in vain. Breanna was right. They all love Old Navy.
After all the good-byes I was granted a standing invitation by the teacher, Mrs. Talbot, to return anytime. I was escorted to the front door by Breanna.
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