8 December, 2021

LitStaff Pick: The Books That Remind Us of Our School Days

Books My Grandfather Lovedlone-ranger-book-cover-300x300

Like most LitStack readers and writers, I loved to read as a child. I was a self-motivated reader and sought out reading material wherever I could find it – dusty shelves of books in the attic, tattered magazines at the dentist office, cereal boxes . . . if it had words, I read it. Curiously, I can’t recall any one teacher who influenced my literary preferences or gave me books. But there was one man who left a mark. My great-grandfather, Roy Umble. He farmed in the foothills of the Maryland panhandle. He was also a school teacher and taught the country kids in a one-room schoolhouse. And he loved to read. His house was tiny, but he had one whole room filled with books and a desk – his “library.” When I picture this man, I see him sitting in that room, reading. He didn’t have much. But he often gave me books. And maybe I inherited my love of reading from him. I still have two of his books on my shelf. One is The Lone Ranger and the Silver Bullet, by Fran Striker, copyright 1948. And the other is a child’s Charles Schultz Charlie Brown Dictionary. I’m not a teacher, but I follow great-grandpa’s footsteps when I give my nieces and nephew books as gifts, in hopes of fostering a love of reading in them, too.

-Angie Dilmore

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