Tucker McBride

Return to a time when a boy could be a boy; when life was more clear from the top branch of a tree; when a kid could trade anger and disappointment for action and adventure; when the whole neighborhood was his playground; and the sloppy kiss from a dog could make everything right.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

What Did Grandpa and Grandma Do?

Tucker’s grandfather was the foreman of a bridge crew on the New York Central railroad back at the turn of the century. Works would have hammered these to railroad nails into place in 1923 and 1925. See the dates on the ends? Tucker’s other grandfather owned a dredger. He dug out lake areas, rivers, and waterways that require more depth for safe navigation. Both grandmothers were homemakers, a usual occupation for women in the years before World War III. I purchased the nails for Tucker to remind him of his grandparents.

Tucker was fortunate to have lived with his grandparents to get the stories of family members who had gone before them. He can name his great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents. He knows what kind of work they did and where they lived.

Sit down with your grandparents and talk about their work, talents, and joys. They can tell you about their parents and grandparents. You may find interesting people in your historic family. Perhaps a grandMOTHER was a doctor, lawyer, inventor, business owner – someone who was courageous enough to work far beyond what society expected.

Find a place to put it and always put it back there. I talked to my Aunt Ollie about the early family in America, then we moved, and then we moved again. I lost information about my family tree. Luckily, the Fort Wayne, Indiana Public Library has a respected genealogy section.

What kinds of things could you collect that would remind you of your ancestors? Have fun by making a display of your railroad nails or other keepsakes. You could also make a shadow box for the pieces. In a few weeks, I’ll be able to post a cluster of items to represent my newest book – Tucker’s Perfect Day. What kinds of things could you collect that would remind you of your ancestors? Have fun by making a display of them, or a shadow box. In a few weeks, I’ll be able to post a cluster of items to represent my newest book – Tucker’s Perfect Day. Watch for the book in early September. 


Copyright 2021 Doris Gaines Rapp, Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

You Can Get er Done

Tucker saw the 4th of July as halfway through the summer. That meant school started after Labor Day, 1947, in Indiana. It was hard for Tucker to give up the freedom of finding new places to investigate, or spending all day at the gladiola farm up the road, helping to weed the rows of bulbs. Since he got the Model A Ford from Old Noah Domonick, that meant he could roam even farther. Even though he was thirteen and had no driver's license, that didn't keep him off the country roads and neighborhood streets. School? Tucker figured that would only slow him down. 

"Gramma, I don't think I can do this?" Tucker drooped along through the dining room and into the kitchen. 

His grandmother was pouring herself a glass of lemonade. "Would you like some, Tucker? And, what is this thing that you can't do?"

"Sure, I'll have some." Tucker leaned his elbow on the kitchen counter. "I just don't see how I'll have the time for school."

"Oh, ya?" she asked in her Pennsylvania Dutch way. "What are you so busy with?"

"Things, Gramma. Lots of things. I help Butch Randolf at the gas station for one."

"That is always nice, Tucker," Gramma said with a smile. "But school isn't an option. You will go to school. You can do it. God will help you find things at school you like."

Tucker answered immediately. "I like my friends and sports, baseball and basketball."

Gramma sipped her lemonade. "Then make the time you spend with friends and enjoying sports a reward for getting your schoolwork done. God will help you. Remember your Sunday school teacher's Bible verse from last Sunday? Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Tucker gulped down some cold drink and burst out. "I know. Mrs. Kline reminded me, I can do all things."

"Nein, Tucker." Gramma sat down at the dining room table. "You can not do all things. It means, if you are doing the will of God, you can do all he wants you to do with the help of Jesus."

Tucker finished off the rest of his lemonade. "I get it. That means school, too."


That is what Tucker figured out a few days after Independence Day. What things do you need help doing? Are they good and right things, things that help others? Are they within your corner of the world? Or, do you believe you have to fly a thousand miles away to help someone? 

Gramma would say... "Just like the garden, grow where you're planted."

School can be fun when you ask God to point out the fun things you find every day... friends, sports, activities, or that special class that is so interesting you search Google for more information about the topic. Less grumbling leaves more time and space for fun. You can get er done.

Tucker McBride and the Christmas Present

  It's December 1, and the stores are draped in red and green. It is the Holidays, the Christmas Holidays. The Christ Child came to brin...