For the Midwest Producer
April 24th Edition
It’s hard to become a hero when most of your time is spent on a farm. But it has happened to me. I have a 10 year old grandson, here on the farm, who thinks I’m a hero now. He watches or is aware of nearly all that is said, or written or acted out. I’m also certain that he remembers everything that he’s ever read, and he reads a lot. His favorite topics are sports, especially pro football. He’s a constant reminder that the adults on this farm need to be very careful about the example we set. Being his hero for this one incident is okay but I’d have to say “no” if asked to take a lie detector test. Let me explain
He began by checking out and bringing home Sports Illustrated for Kids from the library. After they were well out of date the librarian even began letting him keep a few of them. He knew every name and number and running and catching and receiving stat in all of the magazines. So for his birthday I found the website for S.I. for Kids. I ordered a subscription and was told it would take 6 to 8 weeks to begin arriving in the mail. They had this nifty card I could download announcing the subscription as a gift. I printed it, and with a slight amount of fanfare, presented it to him in the dim glow of a birthday cake. We heard words like “awesome” and “sweet” and “cool!” And then, that was that, because we had five to seven weeks to wait until his subscription arrived.
At the four week point I began to receive questions from Grandma reporting to me that our grandson was wondering if we should call about the subscription. “Grandpa, do you think something is wrong?” he would ask. I postponed the great SI Inquisition until the beginning of the 6th week. My wife called from her business phone and asked if I shouldn’t call about the magazine because he keeps asking if Grandpa has called yet.
I found the phone number for Sports Illustrated on my Visa bill. I was fully aware that this call might take longer than driving to Denver and back. The lady on the line said “are you Cliff?” I said yes. I wanted to say “how’d you know that.” But I knew there was magic involved so I didn’t ask. I said, “I want to check on a gift subscription.” She cut me off and asked if it was for my grandson and used his name? I said “well yes it is, I’ve been under heavy pressure to call you and see if there was a problem?” With a great deal of interest in her voice she asked, “Pressure, from whom?” I said “Well from my wife …” then she interrupted with my grandson’s name. I said “yes” and continued with, “and from” she cut me off again and finished with “His Mom, right?” I was beginning to look over my shoulder. This lady appeared to know more about me than our UPS delivery man whom I’ve always thought might be a CIA operative.
She said he should receive his first issue no later than next Tuesday. I said “good and thank you.” I hung up the phone, and called and reported the good news to my wife who in turn passed it on to our grandson as he got to her office after school. And then one of those miracles happened, after finding out that I had just got through calling about his magazine, He went into the house to find the first issue of his Sports Illustrated for Kids. It had arrived with that days mail. It probably came a few minutes before I had made the call.
A half hour later he rode his bike to our house. He fairly burst through the door and with a gleeful smile he yelled “Thanks for calling Sports Illustrated Grandpa, my first copy came today.” And with a high five and a hug, he was back out the door.
I know what you’re thinking, but who am I to burst a little boy’s bubble. Besides, he left so quickly that I didn’t have time to tell him the truth. Really!
So, as it stands at this telling, I’m a hero. Unless of course, he starts reading my columns.