You Can Write…Letters to My Grandchildren…Barney Beard

You Can Write

My Dear Grandchildren,

The following is the foreword and first chapter taken from the book I wrote for you, The Amazing Adventure of Carter and the Pie Rats. One of the reasons I like to write is so you will know you can write. Of course you can write. You can do it. I know you can. If you begin writing when you are young you’ll learn to write all kinds of things. Writing is fun. Remember, you can write. Remember, you can write. I said so, twice.

Foreword: This book is about the amazing adventure my grandson and I had with the Pie Rats on the other side of the bow window. You should try writing a story. It doesn’t have to be like this one. It can be about anything at all. You can write about anything you can imagine or you can keep a journal of what you do every day. If you can think it in your thinker, you can write it on paper.

You have ideas. I know you can write. I think you should write, if you want to. Don’t you think so?

If my grandson hadn’t written this story, you wouldn’t know anything about the Pie Rats, Heepicheep, Poly Nomial, the round table, Al G. Zebra, The Pie Plate or the battle with the Number Dragon and that would be a shame. My grandson has a better memory than I do. My thinker is rusty. I have a head like a sieve and the holes are getting bigger. You have a wonderful imagination and a good memory. If you would write the things you think in your thinker, it would be a good story. I know it would. I would love to read your story. Others would read it, too. You can write. I know you can.

Write, please, Barney Barnacle

Cinema for the Mind

Chapter One

     Grandpa wanted me to tell you the story about our ice cream lunch that turned into a bow window adventure with the Pie Rats. He says I have a good memory and I know how to tell an interesting story, a story that is cinema for the mind.

It’s a good thing he wanted me to write this book because Grandfather is hopeless when it comes to remembering. He’s always looking for his glasses, truck keys or hat. He never knows what day it is. He goes to the store and brings home the wrong things. He never remembers my birthday and takes his books back late to the library.

Grandfather enjoys writing but his stories aren’t easy to read. They don’t flow. I keep telling him he should write simply, like a child, but I guess it’s been so long since he was little, he’s forgotten. I’m glad he let me write this book.

As everyone knows, reading is cinema for the mind. A good writer will ‘set the stage’ inside the reader’s head with words instead of props.

A good writer puts images into a reader’s mind like a stage hand puts chairs, tables, windows, doors and back drops on a theater’s stage to help us understand and enjoy a play.

It would be difficult to imagine what was happening in a play if it were performed on a bare stage. The audience needs props and backdrops. You see what I mean? Well-chosen words, sentences and paragraphs create pictures in the reader’s mind. Reading is cinema for the mind.

Reading is a thousand times better than television. When you watch TV you’re allowed only one picture. When you read, your mind can create a thousand different pictures, maybe ten thousand. TV can’t do that. More reading, please.

I’m glad I’m writing this account of our bow window adventure. When Grandpa writes he forgets to tell the reader what color things are and how big or small something is.

I’m much better about helping people see things clearly in their mind when they’re reading my stories. I’m also good at helping the reader feel the emotions of my characters.

Grandfather has written lots of books. Every now and then he’ll go to Amazon to see if he’s sold any but he’s always disappointed. Every time he checks he discovers more and more people aren’t reading his books. Sometimes I feel sorry for him.

He would tell you himself he can be a boring storyteller. That’s why his books don’t sell. Some of his stories put you to sleep on the first page. He meanders all over the place. Please don’t tell him I said that. It would hurt his feelings. He loves to write. He’s my Grandpa and I love him.

His stories would be better if he were to write as if telling a story to a blind friend. That’s how I write.

I pretend my friend who cannot see wants to hear my story. I use words to create pictures in my friend’s mind so my blind friend can SEE. I am my friend’s eyes. I write as if my blind friend and I were on the mountain top and my friend asks me, “What do you see?”

I also want my readers to feel the emotions of the characters as they read. I won’t simply write a person was angry. I’ll tell you what happened to that person and you’ll feel that character’s anger.

I won’t tell you simply ‘John was sad’ and leave it at that. No, I’ll tell you about John’s life. I want you to read about the unfortunate things that happened to John so you can be sad right along with him.

I want you, the reader, to feel the character’s emotions. That’s the kind of thing I mean about clarity in writing. That’s what I mean about helping the reader SEE.

Writing should create brilliant pictures inside your reader’s head as if your reader were in a gigantic movie theatre with a dozen huge screens all the way around. That just about says it all, doesn’t it? Reading should be cinema for the mind.

If Grandpa had listened to his English teachers, he would be a better writer. I guess he was too busy watching TV and playing sports. He told me he wished he had read more books when he was my age.

If you want to be a carpenter, be a carpenter’s apprentice. Learn from the person who knows how. Watch him. Study how he does it.

If you want to become a better writer, read lots of books. Learn how they put their stories together. Read.

Grandpa knows he should have read more books like I have. I read every day. I read a lot of the right books. I hope you read a lot of the right books, too.

Let’s get on with this story. If you’ll read the next chapter, you’ll learn how our amazing adventure with the Pie Rats began. I think it’s a good story. I hope you think so, too.


Remember, you can write.

I love you dearly,

Your grandfather,


PS. Click here for The Amazing Adventure of Carter and the Pie Rats.

PPS. All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

PPPS. If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

PPPPS. I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright©2020 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.


My Grandmother’s Gardenias…Barney Beard

My Dear Grandchildren,

Many years ago I remember lying on my parent’s big king-sized bed with my children in the front room on the the north west corner of my mother’s old home place at Lake Weir. My young family and I were watching a movie. My parent’s bed was sitting catty-cornered on the north west corner of the bedroom between two huge sash windows. I remember smelling my grandmother’s gardenias blooming just outside the windows as we watched the movie.

My  parents left their home in north Georgia and moved in with my grandmother and grandfather in 1982 to help my mother’s parents in their declining years. It was a good move.

My father took early retirement from a job as a pipe fitter at Dupont in Chattanooga, a job he hated. My mother promised my father if he would retire early and leave north Georgia and move back to Florida with her, she would take up the slack in their income. I’m sure it took Daddy all of three seconds to think over Momma’s offer.

Daddy worked the first half of their married life and Momma said it was her turn. She would work the second half of their marriage.

My mother is a registered nurse.  She graduated first in her nursing class at her nursing school in Dalton, Georgia. My mother loves the nursing profession. Working is a pleasure for my mother. Both my mother and father made good decisions to move to Florida and care for my mother’s parents.

The front bedroom used to be my grandparent’s bedroom before my parent’s moved in. That same bedroom was my great grandparent’s room before that. My mother and father took over the front bedroom and my grandparent’s moved to the back bedroom, which was near to the kitchen, the bedroom on the east side of the old house.

Somewhere in the past someone with foresight had planted gardenias outside those big, single-pane sash windows which surrounded the front bedroom, windows which were always open in the summertime.

In the summertime my grandparents’ gardenias would bloom just outside the window and the soft summer breeze would waft their heavenly smell across the bed. I don’t believe anyone who smells a gardenia can think, do or be involved in anything bad that day. We should have more gardenias, shouldn’t we?

I have a friend who gave me some cuttings from her huge, lovely and fragrant gardenia. I was at Sam’s Club earlier this year and they had some big gardenias on sale. I bought five. I planted enough of my own cuttings that I successfully rooted and bought enough gardenias from Sam’s so that gardenias surround my little screened in lanai.

The gardenias don’t bloom all year but I take care of them and give them plenty of water and gardenia food. They’ve been blooming for a couple of months now.

If you will permit me to repeat myself, I don’t believe anyone who smells a gardenia blossom can think, do or be involved in anything that day they’ll be ashamed of.

I hope my grandchildren have gardenias around their home. When they bloom I want them to smell that lovely fragrance and remember.

Your grandfather,



PS. Well, I have to boast. I entered some books in a competition this year and my Writer’s Journal won a bronze medal from eLit. I do enjoy writing.

My Dear Grandchildren, read, read, read. Your imagination activates when you read. Reading will provide you with a plethora of images created inside of your own head. Reading is cinema for the mind.

PPS. All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

PPPS. If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

PPPPS. I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright©2020 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.


How to Prevent Children from Thinking…Letters From Below…Barney Beard

My Dear Maggott,

We have been fighting the glorious battle for many a long year. We must press on. Ignorance has been our greatest tool, literacy our ultimate enemy. Our noble struggle for mastery is worthy of our finest efforts.

I have good news. At last we are turning the tables on the work of the detestable Gutenberg. We shall fight fire with fire, a brilliant concept, a winning strategy. Instead of opposing their access to knowledge, we shall give them that which they crave in superabundance. We shall drown them in a bottomless sea of trivia, a meaningless quagmire of their own making. They shall choke on their own disgusting vomit. What a brilliant and unexpected outcome this will provide. They themselves will supply the means of our triumph. Oh, I can only imagine our joy as I consider our impending success with our new tool.

We have been tireless in our efforts to stop children from learning to think for themselves and now we have an aid to increase our success. In fact, it may be the ultimate solution. I am beside myself with pleasure. His stupid pets have constructed the vehicle to carry them to their destruction. What a serendipitous tool we have been given. We shall make every use of it and hasten their demise.

In addition to the tried and true methods of insuring their offspring remain vacuous into adulthood, we have personal phones, computers, video games and all kinds of modern digital devices to attract children’s attention, fill their little heads to bursting with nothing of significance and at the same time prevent the little insects from learning even one of his hideous ideas. The crowning glory of this plan is the prevention of the most horrible malady of all, reading.

I can think of no greater ambition than to occupy the hatchlings’ minds with the pursuit of sports, pleasure and frivolity while they listen incessantly to blaring music, view hours and hours of mindless television and intersperse their every day with the consumption of mounds and mounds of meaningless minutiae.

We now have the means at our disposal to turn the detestable creatures attention away from books. The little beasts are disgusting, aren’t they? I would love to crunch them all under my heel.

Joy upon joy. They are finally of their own accord getting rid of their bookshelves and books. They have even begun calling the library the media center. Can you believe our good fortune? I am overjoyed. I can’t express the satisfaction I receive from your news. What a brilliant idea. Unknowingly, they are doing our work for us. They will drown themselves in a sea of nothingness. I didn’t think I would live to see the day.

In my younger days we had to fight tooth and nail to prevent the filthy little beggars from visiting the libraries. We did everything we could to keep them out of school and now, of their own volition, they’re getting rid of their bookshelves. I can’t express my unbounded optimism for our complete success.

As you know, reading used to be the privilege of the ruling classes. That wasn’t so bad. By using the power of class  snobbery, among other wonderful moral attributes, we delayed the advent of widespread literacy for a very long time.

Then he came, curse the day. His coming changed everything. From that moment our work load has been increased infinitely. We will overcome but his horrible interference has greatly increased the difficulty of our task and delayed our victory. Sometimes I feel a kinship with Sisyphus but I have every confidence in the success of our new strategy.

Because of him there are those who believe all our potential subjects should learn to read and think for themselves so they can read and think upon his macabre propaganda. How insipid. We’ve changed a lot of people’s minds about him but have a long way to go to get everyone. Literacy is still a problem. A few are still reading and teaching their detestable spawn to read his book. What a terrible waste.

We can’t stop their curiosity but we can dilute it to the point of meaninglessness. Put a phone in everyone’s hand. Let them believe all knowledge is theirs at the touch of a button or with a simple voice command. Let them believe they never have to observe and think for themselves.

Let me remind you of the central method we have of influencing children. Get them involved as early as possible in the pursuit of pleasure. Make them the slave of instant gratification. Teach them sports, games or immerse them in the electronic twanging they call music. Occupy their mind. Do anything you can to prevent a quiet environment which results in thinking. Stuff their minds full of nonessential trifles during every waking moment. Never give their useless little minds a minute of peace or they might begin observing and thinking for themselves. If they begin using their own minds it can cause a backlash and untold future problems.

Music, chatter, gossip and mindless viewing require no thinking and can dominate them. Rule of thumb: Keep the TV on day and night. Let them gaze and glaze. If they’re not watching the television or playing video games make certain they’re listening to music, do anything to prevent self-cognition. Above all, never give them a moments rest.

Gaze and glaze is our mantra. Be assured it is successful. At all costs, stop them from reading.

As you know, influencing their offspring is made much easier by the pursuit of pleasure, especially mind altering chemicals. Alcohol has been the time honored favorite of mine and continues to be one of our tools at the forefront of battle.

Remember, their destruction is our goal. Our overriding task is to stop them from thinking. Teaching the joy of consuming alcoholic drinks at an early age is unsurpassed in accomplishing our desired result. My work in this area has brought untold success. I expect you to emulate. Of course, you can make available a plethora of mind occupying drugs to the nasty little creatures. They deserve it. We have now a variety of chemical substances we can use with his pets which will prevent them from reading, observing and thinking.

You are doing an excellent job. I applaud your success. Books are increasingly being ignored and even destroyed. The truth is, we don’t have to burn books to ruin his pets, all we have to do is get them to stop reading. We’re doing an excellent job. No need to burn books and be crudely obvious. I don’t have to tell you that when they stop reading there will be no chance of them taking that final terrible step and begin writing. The two go hand in glove.

Stop them from reading and you’ll prevent them from writing.

The above reminds me to warn you to give special effort to bring to an end the activities of that stupid, antiquated old man in your charge who keeps writing books. We have prevented most everyone from reading them but he insists on sending books by the armload to his grandchildren and other relatives. He is a growing nuisance. His infection may spread. He should be silenced. No one is paying him any attention but he is tireless and who knows what horrible eventuality might occur from his misguided attempts to thwart our noble efforts. Stop him at all costs. His premature death would be a boon to our cause. I wish we had that power. Do everything possible to obfuscate his nefarious efforts in the lives of his progeny. He, and all those like him, must be defeated. Be tireless in your efforts.

In closing let me remind you once again, do your best to defeat the antiquated old fool. Quash both him and his love of books. He is quite an anachronism.

Your uncle below,



ps. My Dear Grandchildren, read, read, read. Your imagination activates when you read. Reading will provide you with a plethora of images created inside of your own head. Reading is cinema for the mind.

pps. All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

ppps. If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

pppps. I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright©2020 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.


Non-Smelly Gardenias…Letters to My Grandchildren…Barney Beard

Non-Smelly Gardenias



My Dear Grandchildren,

In the middle of the lawn to the west of my little yellow house there are two non-smelly gardenias. In that same west lawn there is a third non-smelly gardenia at the north end of the lawn against the west wall of the laundry room. After three mild winters the three lovely shrubs are huge. Non-smelly gardenias are not to be confused with smelly gardenias. The leaves and blossoms look much the same but they don’t smell the same.

Non-smelly gardenias have a lovely white bloom but no aroma whatsoever. Smelly gardenias have the same lovely white bloom as the non-smelly variety but smelly gardenias have a sweet, romantic, captivating fragrance that makes one think of a sultry summer evening on the back veranda surrounded by live oaks draped in Spanish moss and a scenic view overlooking a peaceful southern lake. One writer described the fragrance of gardenias as settling inside of you and waking the ancient memory of your soul.

If you visit me here in central Florida during the spring, summer or autumn you’ll find the non-smelly gardenias in the west lawn and the smelly gardenias in the secret garden on the east side of the house. I put the smelly gardenias in the secret garden because the garden is small, walled in with a canopy of oak limbs, thus trapping the fragrance.

I love both non-smelly gardenias and smelly gardenias, but the smelly variety is my favorite because of the fragrance. I remember lying on my grandparents’ bed in the front bed room at Lake Weir watching a movie with my family. Their bed was sitting catty-cornered on the north west corner of the front of the house between two huge sash windows. In the summertime my grandparents’ smelly gardenias would bloom just outside the window and the soft summer breeze would waft their heavenly smell across the bed. I don’t believe anyone who smells a gardenia can think, do or be involved in anything bad that day. We should have more gardenias, shouldn’t we? But this letter isn’t about smelly gardenias. It’s about non-smelly gardenias.

I love the non-smelly gardenias, too, but for a different reason. They grow, and grow and grow and bloom and bloom and bloom. They grow and bloom all summer. The gardenia shrubs with their delicate white blossoms and waxy green leaves dominate the west lawn and are filled with blooms and buds the entire summer. I can’t tell you the visual impact they make on the person who has never seen them.

Non-smelly gardenias are perennial. They come back every year. If they were annuals, they would not come back after a freeze. If they were bi-annuals they would last only two years. Since they’re perennial, they come back every spring. If they freeze, the exposed part of the plant above ground will die but the roots remain healthy and will produce new growth every spring. I wish I were perennial. Alas, my time here is limited. I guess you could say I’m multi-annual with a definite sell-by date. Oh well.

Because we have had two consecutive winters here in central Florida without a freeze, the three non-smelly gardenias have grown, grown and grown into huge shrubs, taller than my head and too big to fit in the kitchen. Not only are they huge but from early spring they bloom constantly, a beautiful, pure-white gardenia bloom set against the lovely, waxy-green leaves.

Alas, the non-smelly gardenia blooms don’t have that characteristic aroma of the smelly gardenia variety but they are just as beautiful. The west lawn of my little yellow house with it’s three prolific, gigantic non-smelly gardenias would be a marvelous place for a wedding, wouldn’t it?

Every spring when the three non-smelly gardenias begin to grow taller and wider and put out new leaves and begin to bloom, I enjoy looking at them. I go out every morning with a cup of coffee, walk around the garden and enjoy. When I walk around the non-smelly gardenias in the west lawn, I nip off the yellowing leaves and remove the sagging blooms that have wilted, withered and turned dark. When I’m finished with my minor pruning, I leave the entire shrub in a state of showcase perfection. I can’t describe its breathtaking beauty, a beauty that lasts all summer.

Every morning I take my coffee and walk around the house and observe the garden and think how beautiful it is. Every morning during my walk I observe, think and plan. I’m constantly thinking how I can keep the garden beautiful and what I can do to make it more beautiful. Cicero and I believe the same thing. If you have a garden and a library, you have all you will ever need.

It’s now the middle of May. It’s been about a month since the non-smelly gardenias began producing flowers and the stems began putting out new leaves. When the blooms and new growth began, I also began nipping off the wilting blossoms and yellowed leaves.

I often sit on my tailgate and think. I keep my truck parked in my open carport on the west side of my little yellow house. Yesterday as I was sitting on my tailgate looking at the non-smelly gardenias flourishing just a few feet away, I had a thought. If you, or any stranger were to walk through the west lawn between my little yellow house and the blue trailer, you would immediately be struck by the stunning beauty of those three gorgeous, huge gardenias. Everyone who sees them comments. They are magnificent.

However, my perception of those three gardenias has changed. My eyes don’t see what your eyes see. Since I have been nipping off the yellowed leaves and wilted blossoms, I have begun looking at the three beautiful gardenias with different eyes. Yesterday for the first time I noticed the change in how I view them.

Instead of looking at three stunning plants and seeing them covered in hundreds of pure white blooms, so white and delicate you would think you could eat them and they would taste like nectar, I have been seeing only the yellowed leaves and withered blossoms.

Now when I walk around the non-smelly gardenias, my eyes immediately search for yellowed leaves and discolored blossoms, the imperfections that need to be removed and thrown into the back of the Mexican petunia bed as compost.

Instead of seeing the beautiful plant as a whole in all its glorious perfection, I have taught myself to see only the plant’s flaws.

I have stolen the joy from my eyes.

I was shocked when I realized what had happened in my mind. I was taken aback at how my view of one of the most stunningly beautiful things on earth had changed. I had taught myself to ignore beauty and see defect.

I had a subsequent thought. If I can learn to look at a beautiful gardenia shrub in full bloom and see only its failings, how easy it would be for me to view my fellow man with the same jaundiced eye, to learn to see only the flaws and shortcomings in those around me.

How terrible to go through life and learn to see imperfections and flaws and miss the glory.

Perhaps grandchildren have been given to us so that when we’re older we can avoid the terrible personal fault of seeing only deformity and ugliness in our world. When I think of you, my grandchild, I never think of your flaws or imperfections. When I think of you, I think of the magnificent person you are and the marvelous person you’re going to be. I see only beauty and your measureless potential. You are magnificent, magnificent beyond description.

I promise I’ll never think of you as a shrub and see only your yellowed leaves and wilted blossoms. That would be a terrible thought, wouldn’t it?

Every day when I think of you, I feel you grow and blossom in my heart.

Your grandfather,



ps. My Dear Grandchildren, read, read, read. Your imagination activates when you read. Reading will provide you with a plethora of images created inside of your own head. Reading is cinema for the mind.

pps. All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

ppps. If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

pppps. I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright©2020 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.


Words…Annie Sullivan & Helen Keller…Tools for Your Toolbox…Barney Beard

The Remarkable Annie Sullivan

My Dear Grandchildren,

I love words. I love the sound of words. I love to learn new words.

Once upon a time last century when I needed new brakes for my car, I decided to replace them myself. I was never much of a car mechanic but this was in the olden days when cars were much simpler. In the olden days your automobile mechanic didn’t have electronic devices to tell him what was wrong with your car. If you can imagine, cars in my day didn’t have a computer of any kind.  In fact, I once owned an old GMC pickup truck that ran on the old six volt system. That’s how old I am.

So, with my little red tool box beside me, I jacked up my car, removed the tire and wheel, removed the hub in order to expose the brakes and with my little toolbox I began to do something I had never done before.

I don’t remember much about that day except one thing. There was a small, powerful spring that held the brake shoes in place against the back plate. The spring had to be removed in order to install the new brake shoes. I tried to remove the spring with the tools I had but to no avail. I was determined to do the job myself so I decided I needed professional advice, so off I go to the parts store.

At the auto parts store I was told I needed a special tool to remove the spring. I purchased the little tool that allowed me to compress and turn the spring in one motion and remove it from the keyed retainer.  With my marvelous, new tool I was able to remove the springs and replace the brakes. I was proud of myself. With the right tools, I was able to replace the brake shoes on my old car and save myself a few dollars.

I kept that tool for many years. I can still see it’s red plastic handle and the round concave end. It was a good tool.  In fact, it was absolutely necessary, indispensable for that job. Every car mechanic in the world had one of those tools in their tool box.

Words are to your brain like tools are to your toolbox. You’re not a mechanic unless you have tools. You’re not a thinker unless you have words.

If you want to disassemble, repair and reassemble machines like my old automobile, you will need the proper tools. If you don’t have the proper tools, you can’t do the work. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Well, your brain requires words in order for you to think about things. No words, no thinking. If you didn’t have words you would grunt, scratch, yell, bite and smash things in order to communicate. You’ve probably known a few people like that, haven’t you?

Helen Keller was a deaf and blind little girl. She couldn’t talk and couldn’t hear. She had no way to communicate with her parents. Helen Keller behaved much like an animal, grunting, snatching and clawing around her home. The family dog was better behaved than little Helen.

If you didn’t have words in your head you would be like Helen Keller before Annie Sullivan gave her words.

Helen Keller’s mother and father felt sorry for their little girl but what could they do? They couldn’t communicate with their daughter, not one word.

In desperation Mr. and Mrs. Keller hired a young woman recently graduated from Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts to be their little girl’s tutor. The young woman’s name was Annie Sullivan.

Annie Sullivan figured out a way to give little Helen the tools for communication. The tools that Annie Sullivan gave Helen Keller are called words. Annie Sullivan gave Helen Keller some of the same tools your parents gave you when you were little. If you want to read the story about the remarkable life of Annie Sullivan CLICK HERE.

Annie Sullivan gave young Helen the tools to use her brain. She put tools in Helen Keller’s toolbox.  Annie Sullivan gave a young woman the ability to change from a mindless animal into a productive human being who went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and publish twelve books. I would say Annie Sullivan is indeed The Miracle Worker. (click here).

The truth is, as remarkable as Helen Keller is, the more remarkable person is Annie Sullivan, the young woman who understood the necessity of a human mind having the right tools.

The same is true for you. If you want to work on machines, you need the proper tools. If you want to be a skilled finish carpenter, you need the right tools. If you want to carve stone, you need the right tools. If you want to say something to another person, if you want to communicate what you are thinking you must have the right tools, you must have words. I’ll go so far as to say, if you don’t have words you’re no different than a horse, cow or monkey in a tree.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say I see this thing growing out of the ground but I don’t know the name of it. It’s tall, big around and has lots of arms, big and small, growing out the side and the top. It’s comfortable to sit under when the sun is hot. You can cut it down and saw it up into boards and build your house from it. I ask you, what is this thing I don’t know the name of?

It’s a ‘tree’, you say.

Very good. Now I know the name for that big, tall thing growing out of the ground.

What are the dozens of big things like arms growing out the sides of the tree?

They’re limbs.

Superb. I’m learning new words all the time.

What are the thousands of little green things about the size of your hand growing all over the limbs that block the sun on a hot day?

They are called leaves.

You are so smart. You know everything, don’t you?

So, you see, if I have a name for things I can tell someone else that name and we can begin to talk.

If you don’t have words, the inside of your mind would be like a library full of shelves but not one single book. If you didn’t have words your mind would be like a big, new toolbox with not one tool inside.

The more tools you have, the more complicated cars you can work on.

The more carpenters’s tools you have, the bigger and fancier you can build a house.

The more words you have, the more ideas you can think of, the more you can imagine. The more words you have the more you can think of and associate things, ideas, concepts, theories, notions, opinions, viewpoints, hypotheses and beliefs.

Be assured, if someone will allow you time to learn the names for the concepts and ideas they are talking about you can talk intelligently with ANYONE. However, if you don’t have the words and you don’t understand the names for the ideas and concepts they’re discussing you might as well go fly a kite.

Can you imagine a painter with no paints?

Here’s another question. What do you call the man who was your mother’s father? There’s a single word to describe him. There’s a word for that single idea.

He’s your ‘grandfather’, isn’t he? Very good.

You are so smart.

Learn lots of words. Think big thoughts.

Learn more words. Think bigger thoughts.

Learn more words. Think even bigger thoughts.

Learn more words. Think bigger thoughts than you can imagine.

Watch TV, play video games and sports and text on your phone. If you do a lot of those things, you’re not going to need a very large toolbox.

I love you dearly,

Learn lots of words.

Your grandfather,


ps. My Dear Grandchildren, read, read, read. Your imagination activates when you read. Reading will provide you with a plethora of images created inside of your own head. Reading is cinema for the mind.

pps. All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

ppps. If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

pppps. I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright©2019 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.



Bentley Goes On Vacation…Barney Beard

My Dear Grandchildren,

You’ve read some of my stories about Bentley, my boyhood friend. I haven’t seen him in years. Well, to my surprise Bentley decided to visit me here in Florida. That’s right. He arrived just yesterday afternoon. I had no idea he was coming.

Bentley and I have remained in touch since I left Walker County. Over the years he and I have preferred written correspondence over the more modern digital forms of communication. We have good reason.

Bentley continues to do quite a bit of writing. He has always kept a journal and has published a number of books, I think fifteen in all. His latest two books received international attention and were serialized in prestigious peer-review scientific journals. Bentley is a lot smarter than I am.

You are probably unfamiliar with the term ‘written correspondence’. Written correspondence is a primitive method of communication. People who communicate by written correspondence write the words they want to communicate on paper and then send that paper to their friend, colleague or loved one via the post office rather than the modern way of communicating words by voice, email, face time, or text.

You may think the written correspondence method a bit cumbersome but a lot of us old folks still write old fashioned letters now and again to the people we care about. There is something compelling about holding someone’s very words in your hand, something deep, emotive and enduring. You should try it sometime.

Well, yesterday when I was watering in the back, who should unexpectedly hop around the corner but my dear old friend Bentley. I must confess I was shocked at first. I was speechless but then a tear came to my eye. I was so pleased to see him. You can imagine the feelings you might experience upon seeing your best friend and confidant after years of separation. We had quite an emotional reunion under the big oak in the secret garden under the hanging baskets of sun patiens. We spent the entire afternoon catching up.

Bentley looked a little older, I must confess. He said I looked the same as always but Bentley has always been a perfect gentleman and would never intentionally or otherwise hurt anyone’s feelings.

His fur had a little grey here and there and I don’t think he was hopping quite as fast or as high as he used to, but his ears were as erect as always and that intelligent sparkle in his eye was just as bright as I remember. Bentley’s intelligence has always impressed me. From that first day when I met him in the old pine thicket, I knew he was most intelligent and someone I would be proud to know.

I asked him how long he was going to stay in Florida and he said he didn’t know. He said there were lots of changes going on up in Walker County where we’re from. He said there are new people moving into the south part of the county and it’s getting crowded.

Besides, he didn’t like the long winters and the cold weather as much as he did when we were kids. Slipping and sliding up and down the ridge in the wintertime isn’t nearly as much fun as it was when we were little.

He politely requested me to allow him to stay for a while as my guest. I told him I thought it a grand idea. I asked him how long he wanted to stay and he said maybe for a few weeks. He had no definite plans and no job to go back to. His family would be fine without him for a while and he was ready for a change of scenery. He said not to worry. He wouldn’t wear out his welcome. He would not be a bother and would let me go about my business as usual. He said that, at least for a while, it would be like old times. I agreed.

“Barney, as you can see I brought my bag with me. I don’t need a lot to be happy. Who knows, I might stay for a long time. I like the clouds down here. I might spend some time lying on my back and looking for shapes in the clouds and thinking and, of course, I’m considering writing that book of stories you were always encouraging me to write, especially since you can help me publish. I don’t really care if anyone reads them but I do have a lot of relatives who are anxious to see them in print. That’s all I care about.”

I was pleased. I told him he could stay as long as he wished, however I explained he couldn’t stay under my house because my little yellow house has solid skirting and brickwork all the way around that extends down into the soil with no easy access anywhere. He couldn’t stay under my house but I showed him the blue house next to mine down the hill which already had front and back access under the skirting. The folks there wouldn’t mind at all. In just a minute I’ll tell you why the folks in the blue house wouldn’t mind Bentley staying underneath their floor.

I explained to Bentley that last year there had been an armadillo family staying underneath the blue house but they had moved on when my neighbors moved in with their little dog, Harley. The armadillos loved it under the blue house. They had made a private front door behind the mexican petunias and the oleander.

Their convenient back door was on the east side at the back corner of the house just down from my tangerine tree and next to the row of mature yew plum pines that were growing on the fence line. Bentley had a good look under the blue house and declared it would be perfect. There was plenty of room and it was obviously quiet here at the end of the street next to my lovely garden.

He asked who lived in the blue house and I told him dead people lived there. He couldn’t believe what I had just said.

“Dead people live there?” Bentley asked with a stunned look on his face. “How can dead people be living in a house? How can they be dead? What are you talking about, Barney?”

“Well,” I replied, “This is Florida. Lot’s of dead people live here in Florida. It’s common knowledge.”

“It’s not common knowledge to me, Barney. How do you know they’re dead? You’re going to have to explain.”

“It’s quite simple,” I answered. “I’ve lived here next to the blue house for several years. I take care of the gardening, the lawn and shrubs. I know what I’m talking about. Besides never seeing anyone come in or go out of the house there are lots of reasons for me to believe the people who live in the blue house must be dead.”

“Barney, have you lost your mind? What makes you think dead people live in the blue house?”

“Well, Bentley, first they don’t have electricity. I never see a light on at night. Everyone knows dead people don’t need electricity. Have you ever seen street lights in a graveyard? They don’t need lights because they don’t have eyes. Because they don’t have eyes they don’t need a television or radio, thus no electricity. Therefore the blue house is always quiet.”

“Barney, I think the Florida sun has got to you. You really believe dead people live there?”

“Yes, I do. I have other reasons. Since dead people don’t have ears, they never listen to music, listen to the radio or listen to the news or weather, another reason for them not to have electricity. And obviously, since they don’t have vocal chords, you’ll never hear anyone raise their voice in the blue house. There’s never any arguing in the house next door.”

“I have to say it’s a good thing not to listen to the news or weather,” Bentley said, nodding his head. I never listen to the news. My mother raised us to think for ourselves. She was adamant that we shouldn’t let the media tell us what to believe. Tell me more about the people who live in the blue house. You have my attention.”

“Well, not only do they not have electricity but they don’t have water either. Dead people don’t need water. When I water their plants I have to use my own garden hose. Dead people don’t drink water, coffee or tea. Since they don’t eat or drink they don’t need water for the toilet or for cooking. They don’t have skin so they don’t sweat and therefore don’t need to shower. Since they don’t have a stomach they don’t eat and therefore they don’t have to brush their teeth. Therefore, I said as I sat up straight to increase my importance, they never had the water turned on.”

Bentley just sat on the tailgate and leaned back on the big box of books for my golf students I had in the back of my truck and looked at me. He slowly shook his head left and right. “Barney, you don’t have to put on airs for me. Remember who it is you’re talking to. You’ve gone loco. That’s all I can say. You’re bonkers.”

I smiled. “No Bentley, this time I know what I’m talking about. Look over there at the back window on this side. See the blinds half way up? The dead people have those blinds up so the sun will shine through in the morning and warm their bones. Because they don’t have flesh and blood they’re not 98.6 anymore. Just like alligators, they have to lay in the sun to get warm. Besides, I know there are no living people in the house because they don’t have a car. They don’t have a car because they never go anywhere because they don’t need anything. Because they don’t need anything they don’t need money so they don’t have a job. They don’t get mail because they can’t read. Dead people don’t have eyes. I know what I’m talking about.”

“Well, that’s some story. I think you’re pulling my leg,” Bentley said.

“Well, when you meet Jack and Jill they’ll tell you the same story.  They know a lot more about this than I do. They’ve been here a lot longer. They’ll also tell you something I didn’t know. Dead people are very proud of their teeth, especially the folks who went to the orthodontist when they were kids.”

“Well, that makes sense,” Bentley said.

“We have quite a few dead people here in our housing estate. Jack has been telling me recently that they’re really angry about one thing in particular.”

Bentley turned and looked straight at my face. “What could dead people possibly be angry about?”, he asked incredulously.

“Well, as you know, most of the dead people here in Florida don’t work and they’re quite angry about being taxed even though they don’t have a paycheck coming in. The saying is true according to them, you can’t escape death and taxes. They’re living proof, pardon the pun. Jack says they’re doing their best to get rid of all the hefty government death taxes. Even after they’re dead they’re getting taxed right, left and center.

The argument the dead people are making is the same argument used through the ages by people, living and dead, who are oppressed by government, there should be no taxation without representation. All the dead people around here are demanding representation. There should be more dead people in congress.”

Bentley just looked up at me and laughed, “Don’t you think you have enough dead people in congress now?”

I agreed with him. We were both laughing as we parted for the afternoon. He said he was going under the blue house and do a little tidying up before turning in for the night.

I reminded him to make sure he left my bean sprouts alone. There was plenty for him to eat across the field. He promised he wouldn’t eat my little bean plants in a moment of weakness. He said he would see me bright and early in the morning.

I reminded him, since he had read The Bow Window, that there are things going on around my little yellow house that a casual observer might miss, especially things that happen by the light of the full moon.

“To be honest, Barney, that’s what I been thinking about. I read The Bow Window just last week. I know you and I always believed you to be honest and straight forward. I’m not saying I haven’t had to keep my eye on you in the past but I’ve never thought you one to completely invent things. I think we may have some of the best adventures of our lives, don’t you?”

“We shall see, my friend. In any case, I’m overjoyed to have you visiting. You’re welcome to stay as long as you like, Bentley. I would appreciate the company.”

And that’s how Bentley came to stay in Florida under the blue house next door. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have renewed my friendship with Bentley. He is one of the main reasons that I write and, to tell the truth, he had a big influence on my life. I suppose, except for my parents, Bentley is the single most influential person in my life, especially my literary life.

I promise to write any stories he tells me. I won’t miss a thing. I wouldn’t want his stories lost to posterity.

Your grandfather,



ps. My Dear Grandchildren, read, read, read. Your imagination is activated, becomes powerful and is enriched when you read. Reading will provide you with a plethora of images created inside of your own head. Reading is cinema for the mind.

pps. All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

ppps. If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

pppps. I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright©2019 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.


Treasure Island…Robert Louis Stevenson…My Favorite Character…Barney Beard

My Dear Grandchildren,

When I was a boy Daddy gave me a copy of both Treasure Island and Kidnapped. They were his favorites and have been mine all my life. Just last evening I finished Treasure Island once again. Robert Louis Stevenson is quite a storyteller, I’m sure you’ll agree.

My singular purpose in this last reading was to refresh my memory of a minor character, a character I’ve identified with through the years, increasingly so as I’ve aged. His name is Abraham Gray. I don’t think the character Gray was an afterthought or a filler by Mr. Stevenson. After you read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, I think you’ll agree with me.

Abraham Gray is an incidental character in Treasure Island, only mentioned a few times and except for one thing, quite forgettable. I’ll tell you in a minute what it is about the character Abraham Gray that is so important to me.

Far more important to Stevenson’s adventure than the character Gray, and perhaps the most colorful creation of all fictional literature, is the larger than life one legged pirate with the parrot on his shoulder, Long John Silver.

Silver comes alive as one reads. Long John Silver becomes so real it seems quite impossible Mr. Stevenson’s story is fiction. The adventure had to be true. It must have happened just as described. Long John Silver must have been real. There had to be a Long John Silver.

The only other characters in literature large enough to rival Long John Silver might be Ebenezer Scrooge and Don Quixote. What do you think?

The character I want to introduce to you is Abraham Gray. He shipped as a deck hand on the Hispaniola out of Bristol, England. On the outward treasure hunting voyage to the Caribbean, the young sailor had been persuaded to join the mutineers in their intention to overpower the captain, commandeer the ship and make off with the treasure. He decided to join the mutineers and have a life filled with wealth and pleasure. He made a poor decision, a poor decision indeed.

At a critical moment Captain Smollett, believing Gray to be a good man at the bottom, challenged the young seaman to leave the mutineers and rejoin the faithful crew. Captain Smollett gave Gray thirty seconds to make up his mind. In that moment Gray made the right decision, fought his way clear of the five mutinous sailors who tried to kill him and rejoined the captain and remaining loyal crew.

Later, and I won’t give away the story because I know you’re going to read it, Gray is found by Captain Smollett to be the only man among the loyal crew to have obeyed orders and be found standing true at his post in a moment of mortal crisis. Captain Smollett put Gray in the day’s log with commendation. Quite a turn around for a young man who had earlier made such a deplorable choice, isn’t it?

Over the years I’ve often thought about Gray. Like Gray, I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life. To this day some of my past mistakes loom large and cast a long shadow. I have one intention before I leave. I want to be like Abraham Gray, a man who made bad decisions but who, when challenged by his captain, did what was right and at the end was faithfully found at his post when danger threatened.

I wish it wasn’t so but my guess is you’ll make some mistakes in your life. You’ll have friends who will persuade you to do things you shouldn’t when I and your parents aren’t around. When push comes to shove, I hope you are like Abraham Gray. I hope you make the right decision and in the end you’re found doing your duty, standing faithfully at your post.

One of these days you can come to my house and I’ll show you a shelf of ‘Some of the Right Books’. That’s a term used by C.S. Lewis in his Chronicles of Narnia to describe the kind of books both he and I and Mr. Stevenson would recommend. I hope you read every book on that shelf. You’ll do yourself a favor if you do. Start with Treasure Island.

Your grandfather,



ps. Read, read, read. Your imagination is activated, becomes powerful and is enriched when you read. Reading will provide you with a plethora of images created inside of your own mind. Reading is cinema for the mind.

pps. I happened upon a reprint of Treasure Island produced by Digireads Publishing. The preface by the author and the endnotes make the unabridged text of Treasure Island perhaps the best read ever for me.

ppps. All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

pppps. If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

ppppps. I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright©2019 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.


Elimination, Food, Fuel and Poop…Letters to My Grandchildren…Barney Beard

Food and Fuel


My Dear Grandchildren,

Nutrition is important. If you were a machine with metal moving parts you would need lubrication, fuel and regular maintenance. If you were a computer, all you would need would be electricity.

I don’t want to let the air out of your tires or pull your plug, but you’re not a machine or a computer. You’re an organic unit and part of this earth we live upon. Your body is actually composed of a number of the elements found in the air and the rocks and soil under your feet.

You are composed of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine, magnesium and a number of other trace elements all mixed up with water. You’re what is commonly called human.

I do want to warn you. You should avoid consuming the element lead at all costs. Lead, as you know, is quite heavy and will make you unpopular at work. As you get older and begin working, you’ll discover a certain number of the people you work with have somewhere in their past been careless about their diet. They have consumed large quantities of lead and it has settled in their behind requiring them to sit more often than most. I know this is true because I remember my grandfather talking about certain men who had a great deal of lead in their breeches. I can’t use his exact words. He used a more colorful vocabulary than what I’ve used here.

The truth is, you’re put together much like the animals of this world. In fact, you could call yourself an animal. We sometimes refer to a certain kind of football player as an animal but strictly speaking this is a misnomer. All football players along with the rest of us are animals. I’m sure your mother wouldn’t want you to think of yourself as an animal, but it’s true. You are not just an animal but a specific kind of animal.

You’re a warm-blooded animal as opposed to a cold-blooded animal like an alligator or a snake. We usually don’t call cold-blooded creatures animals. We call them reptiles. That’s what my friend’s uncle called his wife. I always wondered about that when I was a kid. He called her a reptile, but I don’t think he was using the word in a scientific way.

You’re not a reptile. You’re a warm-blooded animal with a number of internal organs, like a heart, liver, pancreas and kidneys. Because you’re warm-blooded, your body requires regular nutrition to maintain your body’s constant temperature of 98.6º Fahrenheit.

In order to maintain your life and your constant body temperature day and night, you require a constant supply of fuel. You require a certain kind of fuel.

Since you’re not a machine like an automobile, you don’t need gasoline. You’re not a steam engine either. You don’t need coal, wood or some other kind of combustible material to heat the water to 212º and produce live steam. You don’t run on household current or require batteries.

The fuel you need we call food. It’s interesting that since you are a creature of this earth, your food must be of this earth. The fuel you require must at one time have been living itself, just as you are living.

It would be great for your parents if you could live by eating rocks, sand and dirt. Those things are plentiful and cheap. Alas, the fuel you require must grow out of the earth. The fuel you must consume daily must have at one time been living and that requires a bit of work and forethought. Both Rome and green beans didn’t come about in one day.

As you know, you enjoy eating corn, beans, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, spinach, apples, oranges, pears, watermelon, bananas, peaches, cantaloupe, brussels sprouts, grapes, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, rice and more. You also like bread, don’t you? Where would this world be without a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Bread is made from ground up grains, like wheat, barley, rye, oats, etcetera. Bread is good. Can you imagine a world without sandwiches?

Well, the interesting thing about us when we consume these fruits and vegetables and grains is that we put our fuel into our mouths. We put fuel food into our mouth because we need fuel to live. The fuel we put into our mouth keeps our bodies warm.

We grind the food fuel with our teeth. We don’t put the fuel in our ears or in the opening at the bottom end of our bodies. I’ll talk about the opening at the bottom of our bodies in a moment. We put our fuel in the top opening, our mouth. We grind our fuel with our teeth until it’s slushy and then we swallow the food we have ground up with our teeth.

After we swallow our food fuel it goes through a long tube inside our bodies, a very long tube indeed. We have names for different parts of that long tube.

Our food fuel goes in our mouth, that’s the first part of the long tube. Then we swallow through our throat and the squishy fuel goes down our esophagus. Everything about this process is down.

Occasionally food doesn’t go down and stay down. Sometimes food goes down and then later comes up. That is not usual, thank Goodness. When squishy food comes back up it’s unpleasant for you and everyone around you. We won’t talk about that now.

After our fuel goes down our esophagus it arrives in our stomach. Our stomach is the next part of that long tube. Your stomach is like a high-tech food processor. It turns the food you put into your mouth into a warm, thin soup.

When the fuel food in our stomach is all churned up with no big solid chunks, the thin, warm soup then continues through another very long tube, a tube so long it would stretch all the way across your living room and out the window if you were to take it out and have someone hold the other end.

While your warm soup is slowly going through your long tube, your body sucks important nutrients out of this warm, thin, brown soup. It puts those nutrients into your body and feeds your cells. The parts of the soup your body doesn’t need for energy travel all the way to the bottom end of your tube. You get rid of the fuel you don’t need by putting it in the toilet. You eliminate it. Now you know what that word means when you talk about your body, don’t you?

I don’t suggest you ever find out how long your tube is. The bottom part of your tube is connected on one end to your stomach and the other end is the exit on the backside of your bottom. That’s a long tube indeed. It goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth inside of your tummy. If you’ve ever seen anyone take apart a car’s radiator, you’ll know how the bottom part of your tube winds around and around and takes up a great deal of space behind your belly button.

If you took your tube out and stretched it across the living room it would be quite difficult to get back in properly and besides, if you were to take it out you would have to do something with all that warm soup inside the tube. Besides the warm, brown soup, there would be a second problem.

If you took your long tube out of your body, the far end closest to your sitting down place would be stuffed with the residue of the food fuel you ate in the last day or two, the bits of food your body doesn’t need for fuel. The residue at the bottom end would have most of the liquid taken out and would be somewhat solid.

If you took your tube out of your body you would find the end of your tube just before it comes out of your body would be full of solid waste. We have a common, crude word for that waste, it’s called s***t, but I can’t say that word here or your mother wouldn’t let you read this.

As you know, when you go to the toilet to get rid of the solid waste that comes out of the end of your long tube, it doesn’t smell so good. In fact, it smell like,….well, I don’t know how else to say it. It smells like s***t.

Your mother might approve of the word poop but some mothers don’t even like that word. Most mothers would just prefer you say you have to go to the bathroom and leave it at that without any further explanation. I suggest you use whatever language approved by your mother.

And now you know why your father uses that word when something bad happens and he is a little angry. He can’t think of any word more disgusting.

Don’t worry. Your parents think you don’t know what that word means. I suggest you don’t use that word yourself. It’s a word only parents are allowed to use. There are lots of words like that, words only adults are allowed to use.

Well, the main reason I’m writing this letter is to let you know what you should eat to make your tube, soup and elimination easier and healthy.

The word elimination is the technical word for when you sit on the toilet and get rid of your solid waste, the waste that comes out the bottom end of your tube.

Your mother would probably laugh at you if you were to say, “Mom, I have to go eliminate.” What most people say is, “I have to go to the bathroom.” That’s the polite way we’re taught to refer to what we do when we have to get rid of the solid waste out of the bottom of our tube.

When you say you have to go to the bathroom everyone knows you’re not going to the bathroom to take a bath or a shower. Everyone knows you’re going to the bathroom because that’s where the toilet is in most houses unless you’re in England.

If you are in England the toilet would be in the WC. The WC is the water closet. Lots of people in England had the good idea of putting the toilet in a separate room from the bathtub and the shower.

If the toilet is in a separate room from the bathtub and the shower it means you don’t have to bang on the door screaming that you’re about to go in your pants while your deaf sister is in there putting on her makeup. You can easily understand the wisdom of the British idea, can’t you?

Well, if you will include in your diet lots of fruits and vegetables, you’ll have a much easier time with your warm soup and your solid waste and your elimination. The rule is, you’re better off if you eat real food and not food that’s in a can, box or frozen. Frozen food is cold and hard on your teeth.

Folks who eat a lot of processed food, food that has had the roughage take out, find it much more difficult when they go to the toilet or the WC.

Here is a little suggestion. Include wheat bran in your daily diet. Wheat bran is the husk of the wheat kernel. It has no nutritive value when you eat it and it passes entirely through your tube and comes out the other end. When you eat wheat bran, it swells up when it’s in the brown, warm soup and makes the solid part of your waste bigger and softer and easier for your tube to squeeze out the bottom end. You’ll spend a lot less time in the WC.

Trust me. It took me a long time to figure this out because no one wanted to talk to me about poop, pooping and how my energy, food tube worked.

From experience I can tell you that your life will be a great deal more pleasant if you eat lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts and avoid processed foods.

You might even want to have a few meals during the week that are entirely composed of fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables and such and occasionally skip a few meals that include other animals as part of the menu.


I love each of you dearly,

Your grandfather,



Written by: Barney Beard for his grandchildren

All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2019 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.©


Complaining-Man…Letters to My Grandchildren…Barney Beard

Go-Cart Man

My Dear Grandchildren,

I was in a big retail store yesterday doing a little shopping. As I looked for the item I wanted, I pushed my big shopping cart down a long, narrow aisle. About halfway down the aisle a large man riding an in-store go-cart was asking an employee the location of an item. The two of them completely blocked traffic. I couldn’t get by but that wasn’t a problem. I waited and listened a few feet away. I wasn’t in a hurry.

The older, large man on the go-cart was complaining to the young employee that he couldn’t find the item he needed. He told her he had been buying his certain item in this store for ten years. In the past it was always in the same place. Today his item wasn’t where it was supposed to be.

It was inconceivable to go-cart man that the store would suddenly discontinue stocking the thing he wanted and needed. How could the store be so insensitive to his needs. Go-cart man complained. The young employee and I listened.

I heard the polite young lady inform go-cart man she had no idea where his item was located. Perhaps it had been moved or discontinued.

I couldn’t get past the two of them in the narrow aisle so I listened and waited a few feet away from go-cart man with both my hands on the handle of my shopping cart. Go-cart man was not happy and becoming increasingly more unhappy by the minute.

He continued complaining and the patient employee continued to listen. He informed the polite employee in no uncertain terms he was going to take his complaint to the manager.

The well trained employee was kind to go-cart man. She gave him her full attention and politely suggested he go to customer service. Perhaps his item was temporarily out of stock. Perhaps the item he wanted was now stocked in a different part of the store. If the item he wanted was discontinued perhaps customer service could explain why.  Perhaps, if it was discontinued, customer service would order the item specifically for go-cart man.

The employee was quite thorough and polite with her answers to his complaints. I noticed she never once interrupted the man while he was talking.

I felt sorry for the young, female employee who did everything short of giving go-cart man a massage and a kiss on the forehead. Go-cart man wasn’t happy with her explanation, advice, massage or kiss on the forehead. He didn’t have what he had come for and he would not be happy until he went home satisfied.

As I watched I imagined go-cart man as a little child with his mother in the grocery story. I could see little go-cart man demanding something and being denied by his mother. I could see little go-cart man lying down in the aisle at the grocery store screaming as he ‘pitched a fit’. Little go-cart man had become a grown-up but hadn’t changed much.

The polite young female employee finished her explanation to the unsatisfied go-cart man and went about her business. I now had room to pass complaining-man on his little four wheel go-cart and find the thing I was looking for.

As I passed go-cart man, he looked up at me and began to explain the unfairness of his situation.

He wanted to share his displeasure with someone, anyone. He chose me because I was the nearest someone.

It was obvious to go-cart man that anyone hearing his case would commiserate. Everyone and anyone would agree he had been most egregiously treated by the insensitive store,  a store that had inhumanly discontinued the item he so desperately needed. How could they be so callous?

He wanted me to share in his displeasure. He wanted me to know how dreadful it was that this store would dare to discontinue such an important item for his continued happiness. He needed affirmation. He needed affirmation now. If he had been in a rowboat, he would have asked me to get in and help him row.

I knew better than to stop and listen. I had no desire to help him row. I pushed my cart passed the stationary go-cart man without stopping. As I passed go-cart man I politely nodded my head towards him and continued walking. I didn’t dare stop. As I passed, he continued to complain to my back as if I had stopped to listen.   He continued to complain until I turned the corner. He wanted what he wanted. He continued to be unhappy.

I turned and came back down the next aisle looking for my item. As I went down the adjacent aisle, I could hear go-cart man on the other side presenting his case to a new victim.

I found my item, put it in my shopping cart and headed towards check-out. As I got to the end of the aisle I could hear go-cart man, now fifty feet behind me, continuing to complain to the poor soul who had stopped to listen.

I have noticed there have been quite a few occasions when I have behaved much like go-cart man to some innocent bank clerk, government employee or wait staff.

I am embarrassed to say there have been times when I have wanted everyone around me to acknowledge that I have been treated unfairly. I have had moments when I wanted the world to stop and make everything right with my life.

The truth is life isn’t like that. Hard as we try, we’re not going to have everything the way we want it.

There is something about getting older that lends itself to complaining. Perhaps when we get older we think we have the right to have everything go our way. Perhaps when we get older we think we have the right to lie down in the aisle at the grocery story and pitch our fit.

No, complaining isn’t the privilege of age.

Well, it ain’t so and it ain’t never goin’ to be so.

My advice? As you get older learn to enjoy the life you have. Learn to live within your means. Learn to take the good with the bad without complaining. You’ll never have everything you want and none of your friends and family will have everything they want.

If you get into the habit of complaining, you’ll end up like go-cart man and every time you state your case, the person you’re talking to will walk on by and you’ll find yourself alone.

I love you all and I promise not to complain if you come and see me.

Your grandfather,



Written by: Barney Beard for his grandchildren

All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

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Copyright 2019 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.©





The Ordinary Man and the Book Dragon…by: Barney Beard

The Ordinary Man and the Book Dragon

© 2019 by Barney Beard

My Dear Grandchildren,

Before you read my book, I want to tell you something. I like to read books. I like to write books. I like to give books to my grandchildren. I like to have books under my bed, in the closet and under my chair. I like to have books everywhere. I found this marvelous quote by C. S. Lewis. I must confess, the growing number of folks who think books and bookshelves a nuisance, disturbs me.

“I am a product of endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books two deep in the study, books two deep in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books two deep in the great bookcase on the landing, books in the bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons, I took volume after volume from the shelves. I had the certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.” C. S. Lewis

Chapter One   The Ordinary Man

Once upon a time there was an ordinary man who had an ordinary family. He lived in an ordinary house and drove an ordinary car to his ordinary work. If you were to pass this ordinary man in the aisle at the grocery store or if you were to walk past him on the sidewalk in your town, you wouldn’t notice him. He was ordinary.

If you did happen to glance at him, you wouldn’t remember him, for he was quite ordinary.

Day after day after day the ordinary man worked in an ordinary factory at his ordinary job. He worked for years and years and years and years doing the same ordinary thing all day, every day.

The ordinary man always worked. He was never lazy. The ordinary man worked because he loved his family.

He believed what his father told him when he was a boy, “If you can put both feet on the floor in the morning, you can go to work,” and that’s what he did. He worked. The ordinary man always went to work. The ordinary man was reliable. He never missed a day of school or a day of work in his life.

Because he was ordinary and loved his family, he made certain his children had shoes on their feet, tasty food on the table and a safe, warm, dry, snuggly place to sleep at night.

It was a good thing the ordinary man worked hard at his ordinary job because he had eight children. The ordinary man loved his children, every one of them.

Each evening as the ordinary man arrived home after his ordinary work, his children would greet him merrily at the door and squeeze him with multitudes of hugs and cover his face with soft kisses and tell him how glad they were he had come home.

Every evening the ordinary man and his ordinary family would eat together. After their wonderful, nutritious meal of ordinary food, his entire ordinary family would sit by the fire and listen to the ordinary man read aloud.

The ordinary house was warm and made a great deal warmer by the marvelous stories, the exciting tales of adventure and the multitudes of sagas, narratives, fables and yarns the ordinary man would read aloud to his children.

This man was quite ordinary. He lived in an ordinary part of the country on an ordinary street with dozens and dozens of ordinary houses occupied by ordinary people who lived ordinary lives much like his, but there was one extraordinary thing about this ordinary man. He loved books and he loved to read.

Chapter two  Extraordinary on the Inside

The ordinary man was ordinary on the outside, but extra-ordinary on the inside, extra-ordinary indeed because he loved to read books. He loved to read. He didn’t watch television. He liked to use his thinker when he was reading. He liked to read the thinks that other people were thinking. In a book, the ordinary man could read the thinks of people who lived long ago.

While reading, his extraordinary thinker was busy thinking about all kinds of thinks. He used his thinker. His thinker was always full of thinks.

He didn’t watch the news or weather. In fact, he didn’t watch television at all. He didn’t listen to radio talk shows or allow his mind to be anesthetized by constant background music.

The ordinary man liked to think. He would think all day and half the night about the things he had been reading. He would read books written by people who wrote about what went on inside of their thinker.

The ordinary man understood that reading is television in reverse. The ordinary man understood that reading activated his own imagination and intelligence. Reading gave his own ideas reality and helped him see the world in a new way.

The ordinary man had learned that those who watch television have someone else’s imagination pumped into their brain with visual images. He knew when a person stares at the dumb television, somebody else’s ideas are going into that person’s head. His father had told him:

The television puts things in, It tells you what to think,

It hypnotizes and paralyzes, It makes your brain shrink.

People who watch television never write about what they see or think. The ordinary man knew books filled his thinker with his own ideas and imagination and made him, and anyone who takes the time to read, bigger, brighter and bolder.

Reading, the ordinary man knew, was like a magnifying glass for his imagination and intelligence, allowing his thinker and his imagination to roam the world or even the universe.

Watching television, the ordinary man knew, makes a person want to go to bed late and makes them tired in the morning. The ordinary man knew that reading caused him to use his imagination and think, it made him want to get up while it’s still dark and read more and write about the adventures that came into his thinker, exciting adventures that took him everywhere.

The ordinary man knew when a person views a television program someone else is using their mind. When a person watches television, that person becomes a passive receiver of other people’s visual ideas. Over time, the television watcher’s mind becomes like an old storage unit stuffed full of someone else’s visual junk with no accompanying words.

The ordinary man had decided long ago he would rather use his own mind. I’ll put my own things in my own storage unit, he said to himself. He understood clearly they don’t call the things people watch on TV ‘programs’ for nothing.

The ordinary man loved books and loved to read. Every evening he would read to his children. He would read to them by the fire and every night in their room at bedtime. After he tucked each of his children into their cozy bed under the warm quilts and blankets, he would read a bedtime story.

After the children were tucked in and their story had been read, the ordinary man would whisper into each child’s ear just before he left them, “You’re my favorite.” The ordinary man loved his children. He loved all his children.

When the ordinary man read to his children, he never skipped pages or bits of the story. The ordinary man loved to read. Every night after his children were tucked in their beds, he would read by the fire.

When it came time for the ordinary man to go to his bed, he would lean back again his pillow and read some more by his bedside light.

He would get up before dawn and put on an ordinary fire before he went to work. The ordinary man always got up early because he didn’t watch television at night, play video games or text on his phone. He always had a good night’s sleep because he never stayed up watching television.

When the ordinary man walked through his house he walked slowly. He would reach to his left and to his right and touch each bookshelf as he passed, allowing his hands to softly brush past his treasures. He had an affection for his books as if they were a part of his family, which they were.

He was an ordinarily good man with an extra-ordinary thinker. He was an ordinary man living in an ordinary neighborhood with ordinary neighbors with an extraordinary love of books and reading.

Chapter Three   His Ordinary Bookshelves

The children in the neighborhood would come to his house and look through the books he had on his many bookshelves. The ordinary man had lots of ordinary bookshelves and some extraordinary bookshelves. He had bookshelves in the living room. He had bookshelves in the dining room. He built bookshelves in the kitchen and in the hallway. He had bookshelves in all the bedrooms. He had bookshelves on the landing and at the top of the stairs. Each of his children had their own bookshelf.

The ordinary man built bookshelves in the attic and in his garage. All of his ordinary bookshelves went from the floor to the ceiling and there were books behind books.

The ordinary man taught his children that when a person opened a book and began reading it was like having a private cinema inside your head.

The ordinary man knew those who read books learn how to use their thinker. He knew using one’s thinker is important.

The ordinary man knew people who watched television all the time and talked about other people, were not thinking. They weren’t using their thinker. Those who only go to the movies and stare for hours and hours at the images they see on television are like the animals and the birds. The images people watch on their television bypass their thinker.

Animals observe and react. Animals don’t read or write or think. The ordinary man wanted to think about things. He wanted to use his thinker and he did.

The ordinary man had books in the cupboards and books in the closet. He had books under the bed.

You should have seen the happy children reading all kinds of interesting books in his ordinary house. They read books about places, books about things, books about puzzles and books about pigs. There were books about kings and queens and books about adventures of every kind.

There were books about dragons and books about knights. There were adventure books about handsome princes who rescued beautiful damsels in distress.

There were books about travel and books about far-away lands. There were books about whales and eagles. There were books about birds and flowers. There were books about the stars and how to get there from here.

There were books about everything that had happened in the past. There were books about things that were happening now and books about things that were going to happen.

The ordinary man had story books and picture books. On his many bookshelves were adventure books so exciting they would make your spine tingle and your liver quiver.

There were frightening books that would make you cover your head when you turned the light off at night and wonder what was lurking in the closet or behind the curtains or under your bed.

There were science books that explained all kinds of things about our world. On the bookshelves were books about how to have fun with numbers.

There were books about words and language. There were books about writing and paper and pens. There were books about calligraphy and books about printing.

The ordinary man would bring new books home almost every day and he never got rid of any books, except those books he gave to his children.

There were books about music and books about birds.

There were books about everything.

Chapter Four   Things Change

One day his oldest child became an adult and moved far away and began a family of his own. It was a sad day but the ordinary man knew that was the way things are. Things change. This ordinary world continues to be ordinary.

The ordinary man continued to read.

Then his next oldest child moved away and began a family in the ordinary way.

The ordinary man continued to read.

Soon the rest of his children became ordinary grownups and moved far away and lived in ordinary houses on an ordinary street and had ordinary jobs.

The ordinary man’s house was lonely.

The ordinary man’s house was lonely except for one thing.

The ordinary man continued to read.

Chapter Five   The Book Dragon

The ordinary man’s children moved far away. His ordinary children soon had ordinary children of their own. Like their father they lived in ordinary houses and had ordinary jobs.

Then, as it always does in every ordinary land, the book dragon came. The book dragon hates adults and hates children even more. The book dragon hates books, bookshelves, libraries, writers and thinkers.

The book dragon loves animals that fuss and fight and squabble and quarrel. The book dragon wants children to use their eyes and not their thinker.

The book dragon gets great pleasure when humans behave like the animals and argue and bicker and don’t use their thinker.

The ordinary man had read about the wicked dragon and how he had destroyed whole cultures by teaching them to stop reading.

The ordinary man knew all the old legends about the book dragon’s coming. The ordinary man understood how the book hating serpent deceived people and persuaded them to get rid of their books and their bookshelves and watch television instead. The old deceiver wanted people to stop using their thinker.

The ordinary man knew the book dragon passionately hated children who were learning to think. The book dragon hated them with every cold drop of his black blood. The book dragon hated books, bookshelves, libraries, writers and reading.

When the ordinary man’s children moved away the book dragon came. He began to lure the children away from books and reading. He smiled to himself as he taught them the empty pleasure of watching moving images without using their thinker. There was nothing the book dragon loved more than a home without books.

All the of the ordinary man’s children who moved away had telephones, televisions, tablets, watches and other devices. They sent text after text. They watched show after show. They read less and less. They never went to the library or bought a book. Instead of thinking they would talk about what everyone was doing and why they didn’t like their neighbors.

They watched their shows in the evening. They went to bed much too late and then had to get up before they were finished sleeping so they could go to their work.

They had children of their own and were busy. They gave away all their books. When they were tired in the evening they would lean back on a soft couch and mindlessly watch television. They didn’t read to their children. They let the children stay up later and watch television. Their thinkers began to get dusty and rusty.

Every morning the grown-up children would wake up tired. Every morning on their way to work they would say to themselves that when they got home in the evening after their work they would go to bed earlier to get enough sleep, but every evening after they had supper they would relax on the couch and turn on their television and let their mind go numb. They would watch and watch and watch and think not at all. In the morning there was nothing they could recall.

Like electricity and water, the ordinary man’s children were following the path of least resistance, the path laid out for them by the book dragon who wanted to control their empty minds by supplying endless amounts of meaningless visual trivia.

Every day the ordinary man’s ordinary children would let the fluffy, furry, frothy, foamy, feathery images from the television stuff the corners of their mind until their thinker was numb and they began to nod off and they would trundle up the stairs to their bed and begin sleeping fast because they had gone to bed much too late once again.

Chapter Six   His Grand Idea

Every evening the ordinary man would come home from his work and read books. He would go to the bookshops and thrift stores and buy books.

Then he had a magnificent idea. He would send books to his darlings.

He decided he would send books to his grandchildren. The ordinary man loved books. He wanted his grandchildren to love books more than they loved their phones, tablets or television. Above all he wanted his grandchildren to use their thinker. He wanted his grandchildren to be happy, literate adults and not be like the animals that lived by what they saw without thinking.

The ordinary man sent books to his grandchildren. When he would send a book to his grandchildren, he would tuck a dollar bill inside the pages of each book. The book dragon hated the ordinary man for sending books.

Despite the book dragon’s hatred, the ordinary man sent his grandchildren books for their birthday. He sent his grandchildren books for Christmas. He would send his grandchildren books in the springtime and in the autumn.

The next year the ordinary man sent books to his grandchildren and also to his children. He always put a dollar inside of each book he would send.

The next year he sent books to his grandchildren, his children and also to his sisters and brothers. He always put a dollar inside of each book.

The next year he sent more books. He sent books to his grandchildren, his children, his brothers and sisters and to his nieces and nephews. The ordinary man loved books.

The next year he sent books to his grandchildren, his children, his brothers and sisters and to his nieces and nephews and also to his cousins.

The next year he sent even more books. He sent books to his grandchildren, his children, his brothers and sisters, his nieces and nephews, his cousins and also to the children of his nieces and nephews and cousins.

That was a lot of books and a lot of dollar bills, for the ordinary old man put a dollar bill in every book.

He loved to read books. He loved to think about books. He loved to read about the wonderful things other women and men had written since the world began. He loved to read what other people had thought inside their thinker and written in a book. It was thrilling that the ordinary man could read precisely what people were thinking who had lived many centuries in the past.

The ordinary man had a birthday.

Then he had another birthday.

Then he had several more birthdays.

Every year he sent more and more books. Each with a dollar bill tucked inside. He wanted his family to know that there is treasure inside of a book.

The years passed. The ordinary man had become an old, ordinary man. The ordinary man became an old, lonely, ordinary man, an ordinary man who extraordinarily loved books and wanted others to love books, too.

Chapter Seven    The Ordinary Old Man

The ordinary man retired from his work. The ordinary man decided he would save money. He didn’t buy a new razor. He didn’t go to the barber. He let his hair and beard grow. He wanted to save his dollars for important things, like putting them inside of books he would send to his loved ones so they could use their thinker.

The ordinary man was neat and clean. He no longer had lovely brown hair. His hair had turned white as snow. The old man was an ordinary, old man.

He sold his house in his ordinary town and bought a little ordinary cottage towards the north out in the country. He had a table and chairs. He had a lamp. He had bookshelves. He had bookshelves in every room on every wall, floor to ceiling.

Every morning the ordinary old man would take the bus into the big city and visit all the libraries to buy the old books they didn’t want. Since the book dragon had come, it had become fashionable to get rid of books. There were lots of people who didn’t like books.

The book dragon went to the library. Even the library threw old, unwanted books into their big dumpster. The big green dumpster behind the library had a picture of a smiling book dragon on the front.

The book dragon loved that dumpster.

The ordinary old man with the white hair and the long white beard would visit all the thrift stores and buy books. He would buy all the books he could carry. Almost single handedly he fought the influence of the book dragon.

The ordinary old man would visit all the shops in town that sold books. He would buy all the books that people no longer wanted, all the books he could carry home.

Every morning and every evening the old, ordinary man would read his books and think about his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and cousins.

He would send them all books. He would put a dollar in every book he sent to his relatives. They hardly every thanked him. He wondered if they ever read the books but he knew they liked dollars. He knew his grandchildren would always remember there was treasure inside of a book. Even if they took the dollar and gave the book away or put it out in the musty shed instead of on a proper bookshelf, that was alright.

The old ordinary man knew his family would know, at least in a small way, that there was treasure inside the pages of a book.

Sometimes the old, lonely, ordinary man would make new friends. If they were young, they would become his ‘e’ grandchildren, his ‘extra’ grandchildren and the old, ordinary man would add them to his book-sending list.

The old, lonely, ordinary man sent lots of books.

One day he would go to town on the bus and buy books. The next day he would go to the post office and send books.

His hair became whiter. His beard grew longer. Because he was retired and an old, ordinary, lonely man he became rounder.

Every year he would get rounder and rounder.

Every year he would send more books.

Every year his beard would get whiter and longer and he would buy and send more books and become shorter and rounder.

The ordinary, old, round man was happy reading books. He was happy thinking about the things he had read. He was happy reading the words that women and men had written in the distant past. He loved to think. He loved to read the things people had written. He loved to read what people had thought on the inside of their thinker.

The old, ordinary, round man never watched television. He hadn’t watched the news or weather in fifty years. He preferred to read and think.

The old ordinary man didn’t want his thinker filled with meaningless visual images and conflicting emotions. He wanted to reserve his thinker for thinking.

Chapter Eight   The Northern Visitor

Then one day there was a knock at the old, ordinary, round man’s door. A man was there. He was a short man, shorter than the ordinary, old man. The visitor at the door had clear, friendly eyes and he looked at the old, ordinary man with kindness.

He asked if the old, ordinary man would like a job, an important job.

What was the job, the ordinary man asked.

You’ll be traveling all over the world gathering books and giving books to children and their families.

I’m an old man, he said. I’m an ordinary, old man. How can I possible travel the world giving away books.

The visitor looked at the old man with affection. You have been giving away books for many years. You are good at acquiring books and giving them away. You are not selfish. You give away dollars to everyone. There are children all over the world who would love to read books. We have a job for a person just like you.

I think about that sometimes, the old, ordinary man said to his visitor standing in the doorway. I wonder what is going to happen when all the children stop reading and only stare at the television and quit using their thinker and become like the animals.

We think about those things, too, the short man at the door said to the ordinary, old man. You are the person we want. You can be trusted. You care about children and what goes into their minds. You know the value of books.

The old, ordinary, round man with the long white hair and the long white beard smiled. He liked the idea the short man at the door was putting into his thinker.

He cared about what was going into children’s thinkers and what was not going into their thinkers. He cared. He cared a great deal.

We want to give you even more power to give books and help those young thinkers grow into the literate, happy adults you wish them to be. We want to help you stop the advance of the treacherous book dragon.

What will I be required to do?

You will leave here.

I must leave my house? The old man asked.

Yes, you will be required to leave this cottage. You will be given another residence conducive to the distribution of books to promote the growth of thinking in children.

Where will I go?

If you decide to do this work, you’ll be taken to a place where you can continue the work you are doing now, the work you love. You will be given helpers, many helpers. You will be able to give away many more books than you can imagine.

I would like that, the old, ordinary, round man said. I would like that more than I can say.

Books are a gift, the man at the door said. You understand the value of books as no other. You are to be given this gift because you understand giving. The only thing one can ever keep is that which one gives away. You have understood that for many years. You can’t take it with you, but you can send it on ahead.

I understand, the old, round, ordinary man with the white hair and long white beard said, but I’m worried about the book dragon. He seems to be getting stronger. I’m afraid.

I wouldn’t be too afraid of the book dragon, if I were you, the short man at the door said. The pendulum will swing. There are powers much stronger than that evil black thing with his cold blood.

Should I hope?

Of course you should hope. Books will live. You shall live. Your mind and your thoughts shall live. The pendulum will swing. Be not afraid.

I believe you. I’m ready. Where shall I go to begin this work?


The End


Written by: Barney Beard for his grandchildren

All my books are available on Amazon-Click Here.

If you want to receive, “Letters To My Grandchildren” in your email, click the icon that says ‘follow’.  Then type in your email address and every time I write a new blog it will come straight to you.

I write a golf instructional blog.  I tell stories there. You might enjoy them.  If want to check it out CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2019 by Barney Beard.  All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.©