Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Teacher Tom: Our Future Villages

Teacher Tom: Our Future Villages
Our Future Villages

"We still had a blacksmith in our town in those days, if you can believe it." 

I was talking to the great grandfather of one of my students. Most of the time, the grandparents aren't much older than me, but here was a man 30 years my senior. I make a habit of talking to older people about their childhoods. I like seeing how they tend to light up. I learn about recent history through intimate stories, and I'm especially drawn to childhood memories. 

"My friends and I used to walk into town to watch him work. He opened his doors up wide to get some ventilation. They were like barn doors. There was a counter, then behind it was the fire and the anvil. We boys would stand in the doorway to watch. Sometimes he'd come out a talk to us. His arms were like this." He showed me with his hands, then chuckled, "At least one of them was. And he was always covered in soot and sweat. For a long time, I wanted to be a blacksmith when I grew up."

Another grandparent told me about how she used to go CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: Our Future Villages