June 18, 2008 Edition

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Shadowing 'Gran'

Gretchen Hunt

Last Wednesday, we had a short visit at The TD office from Piper Stallings, granddaughter of proofreader and staff writer Gloria Wilkerson.

It was a joy to watch her explore the office and experience a little bit of what her "Gran" does every day.

We were working on mail out so she helped Gloria stuff some papers to be mailed. Then, she played on the computer for a little while.

I'm sure boredom was looming when she all of a sudden decided she was going to be a newspaper reporter.

She came walking up to my desk, "Gran" in tow, and Gloria showed her where to put the "article" she had written. She explained to Piper that all the writers put their stories there to be edited.

A little while later, Piper was back with another story ready for publication. She quietly slipped it into my basket, as well.

Later, after lunch, Gloria told me that she had explained to Piper that the newspaper is a place to print true stories, not made up stories. So, the five-year-old aspiring journalist is not expecting to see her work in print, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to share the fun she had getting to come to work with her grandmother.

Her first story, scrawled out in blue pen on a piece of copy paper, was as follows:

"The little boy had an arm that fell off and came back."

I praised her on what an interesting story that was, and she grinned and went back to work.

Her second story was even better:

"This rocking chair had a person. She was scary and hit Papa and put lipstick on Papa."

After a little translation on her writing, first I thought it said "Dad put lipstick on Papa," I told her that I bet that was really scary for Papa. She agreed that it was, especially the lipstick part.

I think it is wonderful when children have an opportunity to be exposed to what people in their family, be it their parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, do. Who knows what seeds might have been planted that day.

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