by Gina Douglas


My maternal grandmother and my father both told related stories about me when I was a child first learning to talk.  I don’t think my Baba and my dad ever heard the other one’s story, nor did they ever put their stories together into the real story.

My ol’ man used to proudly tell about the first two-word combination I put together.  He thought it was real clever.  We were in the grocery store, I was seated in the buggy.  I pointed at what I wanted and said the words.  The item was animal crackers, the kind that used to come in a small rectangular box, with pictures of circus animals in cages on the side of the box; and a piece of rope to make a carrying handle.  I referred to this as a “cookie-purse”.

On the Jewish side of my family, Baba used to tell how she was too clever by half.  I liked animal crackers, but the little boxes from the drug store across the street were not a good value; compared to buying a big bag of the same brand animal crackers at the grocery store.  But kids will do the darndest things, and when she offered me a plate of animal crackers from the big bag, I wouldn’t eat them.  Go figure?

They never put their stories together and realized that, in regards to the cookie-purse, I didn’t care about the cookies, I wanted the purse.

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