March 26, 1988: Grandpa’s Gold
Today I went looking through my writing archives to find something written on or near this date in the past, and I found a poem written about 24 years and a week ago. It’s not particularly great nor too profound, but it does connect me with an important moment going even further back, to a golden day spent with my grandfather, Urban Lee Ridings. The day was sunny and warm, I remember, and I must have been somewhere around five or so. Grandpa instructed me to go and shake his money tree, and I could still walk you right to the very spot where the young sappling had stood at that time. As I shook, the sound of metal rained around me faintly, and pops occurred in the dirt and grass. Exploring them with my fingers, on my hands and knees, I found coins, and looking up into the dazzling sunlight there was Grandpa’s face beaming, too. We kids really knew he loved us, due to special moments like that one, which I will never forget.
by Roger Darnell
Grandpa, why does money fall out of the
tree when I shake it?
That’s the money tree, honey.
You just go shake it, and see what happens.
Now, you go ahead, wrap your arms around it.
Now start shaking it…
Now lookie there.
You’re gonna shake all the money out of my tree!
Look! A nickel, and a dime,
And another nickel, and a quarter!
Look over there.
Wow! What’s this? It’s gold!
What is it, Grandpa?
Now, boy – you went and shook my tree too hard.