Jump to Navigation

Kansas Kaleidoscope - Story Starters

Vol. 12, No. 2 October/November 2008 -" Primary sources ... history’s clues"

A big thank you to our readers who sent in Story Starter stories! The story below was written and submitted by Teddy Barfield, a first grader from Wichita. Thanks Teddy!

I found a photo of my grandfather at a young age. I asked him to tell me about his life at the time the photo was taken. I learned he was born on November 5, 1936 in Middletown, New York. He had two sisters and he did not share a bedroom. Grandpa walked to Academy Avenue School. It was about a half mile away, and there were 10 to 15 students in his class. Grandpa’s dad didn’t have a job. Grandpa’s mother was a retired nurse. He had to take care of his pet skunk, fox, and rabbit. He had to keep squirrels away from his birdhouse. He had to take care of his blackberry bushes. For fun grandpa went sail boating. He got his first sailboat when he was 8 to 9. He caught crayfish. On the weekends he went sailing. He went in sail boating races and got lots of trophies. Grandpa swam in the lake and went fishing with his mom.

Teddy Barfield, First Grader


Some of the other stories we received are below:

I found a photo of my grandfather at a young age. I asked him to tell me about his life at the time the photo was taken. I learned he was born in Orange, New Jersey on January 26, 1942. He had an older sister and younger sister, and he did not have to share a bedroom. His father was a farmer and minister. His mother was a school administrator. He went to Salisbury Central School in Lakeville, Connecticut. Poppop waked a half mile to the bus stop and rode twenty-five minutes. Poppop made is bed and cleaned his room. On the farm he fed the cows, fed the chickens, and gathered hay. For fun he made dams in the stream to make a pond for himself. He went biking and rafting. He went once a month to cut his hair. The hair cut cost twenty-five cents. Poppop visited his grandmother. He liked to o fishing. He also liked to drive the tractor.

Edison Lewis, Second Grader


I found a photo of my grandmother at a young age. I asked her to tell me about her life at the time the photo was taken. I learned that my grandma, Jo L. Colborn, was born on December 30, 2943 in Medicine Lodge, a small town. She had one younger sister, Louise. They shared a bedroom. She kept her side of the room clean. Her mother was a housekeeper, and her father was the janitor of the hospital and a police officer. My grandma went to a school called Medicine Lodge Grade School. She had about 40 kids in her class, how hard would that be! She walked to school about 12 blocks. She washed dishes, and babysat her sister, Louise. That is what I learned about my grandma.

Hailey Colborn, Second Grader


I found a photo of my grandmother at a young age. I asked her to tell me about her life at the time the photo was taken. I learned her birthday was November 1, 1961, and she was born in Shattuck, Oklahoma. She had three brothers and one sister and she mostly had to share her bedroom with her sister Donela. Her dad was an aircraft worker and her mom was a stay-at-home mom. She went to Martonson Elementary School and rode on a bus with seventeen students in her class. My grandma went to girl scouts, played with her friends, and watched her brother pay baseball. Debbie spent her weekends cleaning the house. On Sunday she went to church, read, and did homework.

Makenzie Fouch, Second Grader


I found a photo of my grandmother at a young age. I asked her to tell me about her life at the time the photo was taken. I learned she had a farm and was born in Philippines on August 13, 1955. With my Grandma's nine brothers and four sisters, she had to share a bedroom. She played shot bone and played hide and seek. She went to grade school at Ensebio Lopez Elementary. She walked to that school. It took about one hour. She had about 30 students in her class. She had to wash dishes, bring water in the house, and feed chickens and pigs. Her mom had a store, and her dad had a sugar company. Grandma went to the market with her mom on the weekends.

Michael Vance, Second Grader