“Just Like in the Olympics!”

Watching Nastia Liukin win the Olympic gymnastic floor exercise with my visiting Joplin little sister Ellen and her husband Denny Desmond must have triggered some subconscious thoughts while I was asleep.

I woke up thinking,

“Just like in the Olympics!”

That’s what my daughter Alexandra exclaimed in 1984 after watching older cousins Lissa and Heather play on the trapeze. She was so impressed when they hung upside down.

Funny how memories are triggered.

When I woke up, I remembered that Alexandra, who was not yet two at the time, was entranced by a jack-in-the-box which played, “This old man, he played one.”

She wanted me to turn the handle again and again and again and again.

I’m not sure, but I think that’s what she said.





More times than that, as only any toddler can do.

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The photo is of Alexandra sitting in what her paternal grandparents Millicent and Herb Geist called the “keeping room.” It looks as if she is conducting music. I know that when I gave her one of the first “singing” birthday cards in 1985 her mother Robin told me she took it to the grocery store, playing it again and again, while moving her arm as if she were a conductor. The Annie rag doll you Alexandra holding was one of three different sizes made by Robin. There was the original one, of which Robin made two so she could wash one without Alexandra’s missing it, a bigger one, which I think this is, and a wild-haired small one that Robin called “Punk Rock Annie.”

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