from A Grandpa's Notebook, Meyer Moldeven

Are you groping for words to open a story? Here are a few starters:

  • My future might have been prophesied from these events...
  • Let me tell you about.
  • Here, get under the shawl with me and listen to this hair-raising story.
  • It was a wild and woolly.
  • During my early years.
  • Long ago and far away. (still an all-time favorite)
  • Once upon a time. (another treasure)
  • I am uncertain about what my memory truly recalls of these events but there I was.
  • I was about 8 years old when this happened. One morning.
  • My older brother/sister had a tendency to... and this once caused.
  • As children, we often.
  • I am reminded of the time.
  • There was a particular kind of.
  • If only I could have.
  • One day I was watching.
  • It was in the Fall of 19xx.
  • I particularly recall.
  • The toys I remember.
  • Sometimes, in the dark of night, when the wind howls through the eaves, I think back to the time when.
  • 'Twas a dark and stormy night. (another Old Faithful)

Grandchild and grandparent know they enjoy being together, and storytelling is part of the fun; also, grandchildren know that grandmas and grandpas usually have fascinating memories of their childhood and about what happened to the family over the years. Grandchildren want to enter this little bit of grandma and grandpa's world. Perceptive grandparents see the world through a grandchild's imagination. Using the anticipation generated by a familiar opening phrase or sentence to set the stage works well for both storyteller and listener.

Grandparent-grandchild interaction is more than a custom; it is a deep and powerful bond. By its very nature, the alliance is biological and cultural, and molded by trial-and-error through the hazards of millennia. It is an alliance not to be treated casually; it demands nourishment, and storytelling by a family's elders is an essential ingredient.

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