“I like talking to you, Granddaddy,” the child said.
“I like talking to you, too, little boy,” the grandfather said.
Suddenly, the child burst into tears and ran to his grandparent.
“Oh, Granddaddy,” the child sobbed, leaping into his grandfather’s arms. “I love you! I love you! I love you!”
For a full ten seconds, the child clung to the grandfather’s neck with all his might, shedding huge tears.
As the grandfather and grandson held one another in a tight embrace, it was if the future was trying to hold on to the past. In his heart, the child knew that someday the big wheel would stop turning in his grandfather’s life. The grandfather also knew that. He knew this child would someday stand over his grave and weep for him even as he had for his own grandfather. That was what made it so terribly sad. Both knew instinctively that nothing could stop the eternal transition from the old to the new. The forward movement of the big wheel was an undeniable certainty. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could stop its forward progress.”
In the late 1940s, I loved to spend time with my grandfather on his farm planting tomato seedlings, robbing wild bee trees and talking long walks in the Alabama woods. When I became a grandfather myself in the early nineties, I wanted to compare my relationship with my grandson with that of my own grandfather. What a difference fifty years makes!
“The circle of life! Through the generations, the big wheel keeps on turning. From Barlow knives to Pentiums, Roy Rogers to Power Rangers, and walks in the woods to IMAX movies, it all comes back to coloring books and bedtime questions. This is a marvelous story (my favorite by this author) that is sure to pull the heartstrings of every grandfather that has spent time with his grandson in sharing the threads that weave the generations together.
Being a grandfather myself, the story had me lamenting the losses of moving from the old to the new while at the same time celebrating the future holding onto the past. Somewhere in between, there remains a few special moments of bonding, the rituals of moving from being a boy to becoming a man that has never changed. It is the circle of life; the big wheel that keeps on turning. The mechanisms may change, but the relationships remain the same.
I would highly recommend this book to all, especially grandfathers and sons, as it may well be one of the best investments of an hour or two that you will ever make.” — Amazon reviewer