My youngest son is in Graduate School in Jamaica, studying Heritage Culture. He’s evaluating how cultures value their history. It’s a fascinating topic that few people really consider, and he’s learning how to think. I’m in the writing process of drafting a memoir, combining two books into one volume of my own history, including books I love. My writing reminded me of a storybook my father had in his childhood collection called Tony Sarge’s Book of Animals that I kept and read to my boy when he was little.
My young son was fascinated with how much I loved that book back in the day, and we often talked about why we treasure particular books. He wanted to know more about what types of books my father loved as a child, and what my connection to loving my father’s children’s books meant. I inherited my father’s children’s books and read several of them to him during his young years, including Tony Sarge.
I researched Tony Sarge today, and discovered he was a Guatemalan born German American puppeteer and cartoon maker in the 1920’s, which I never knew. I called my son this afternoon, to share extra stuff about Sarge, asking him if he remembered being curious about him.
He had also been thinking about what people treasure, and shared that he believes his growing love of history came from those curious earlier times when he wanted to know the same things his grandparents and parents cared about. He has been fascinated by what people value all of his life.
My son wants to understand what lasts, what people treasure in their lives, recognizing this initial curiosity is what propelled him to his current Master’s program, trying to decipher and evaluate the way people display what they cherish.
Why today? Both of us were thinking about our people and what matters to them, living or dead. My entire life went by without considering Tony Sarge until today. My reminder to him about what he used to want to know validated what he’s thinking and writing in his graduate life right now.
Decades ago, my Reading Specialist Masters’ degree came because I love books, and I wanted to share my love of reading by teaching children how to read.
His grass roots love hadn’t been considered valuable before he decided to go higher with his own education. My son found this heritage major, and it’s wonderful.