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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)

TITLE: Memory Lane


Memory Lane

“Tell me one of your stories, Granny?” Jodie-Ann was visiting her grandmother. She didn’t really enjoy doing so, for often she was not even recognized and found it hard to make any conversation. But today seemed to be a good day and she wanted her grandmother to talk.

“Jodie-Ann I’ll tell you about a special party. It was my birthday. We played lots of games. One was a ring game. I don’t think you would do that today, but we had lots of fun. We made a circle and sang:

“In and out the window
In and out the window
In and out the window
As you have done before.”

Granny’s eyes twinkled as she sang the ditty to her teenage granddaughter. She was a little girl again. She could not remember much these days, not current things that is. Often she did not recognize people, she did not know which day of the week it was and would put on the same clothes every day if someone did not help her.

But ask Granny what happened when she was a little girl and she was all excited and eager to tell her stories. Now she began to relate what happened at that special party.

“As we sang we would make a circle and one of the boys would weave in and out of the group. Then he would stand still and we would sing again:

“Stand and face your partner
Stand and face your partner
Stand and face your partner
As you have done before.”

“The first boy in the middle,” she said, “was John Stewart, the most handsome boy in our class. All the girls wanted him, including me.

“John circled around and around, stood still and then...... we waited. ‘Please come to me,’ I whispered to myself.”

She paused with a faraway look on her face. For a moment it looked as though Granny was not going to continue. She seemed to be back in the present, quite unaware of anything around her.

Eager to know what happened her granddaughter prompted her. “What next Granny? Did John Stewart come to you?”

Granny roused as if from a dream. “Oh yes, John came and stood in front of me and took my hand. Then I had to follow him as everybody sang:

“Follow him to London
Follow him to London
Follow him to London
As you have done before.”

In and out of the circle we went, hand in hand, until the singing was finished. Then the best part came. Everyone sang again as we stood together in the middle of the circle.

“Kiss her before you leave her
Kiss her before you leave her
Kiss her before you leave her
As you have done before.”

“And did he kiss you?”:

“Yes, yes he did. Everyone clapped and I was so happy. It was someone else’s turn then, but I didn’t mind. The best boy in the class had chosen me. I’ll never forget it.”

With a sigh of satisfaction Granny shut her eyes. For the time being she was back in the present where nothing made sense anymore. Memory Lane meant much more to her.

As Jodie-Ann kissed her good-bye Granny whispered in her ear, “John was your grandfather!”


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This article has been read 296 times
Member Comments
Member Date
samuel saalwaechter 05/08/09
I liked this one, it was worth reading. A nice love story. Simple but nice
Jan Ackerson 05/09/09
A bittersweet story, well-written.

I think you were going for a surprise ending, but wouldn't a tee have known her grandfather's name? Maybe you could have gone for irony instead, with the teen questioning grandma about John and elicitng her memories of him, while knowing all along that he was her grandfather.

I remember that song, and it brought back pleasant memories of my own.