BEHIND THE GLASS:
The Old Hand of Oakdale:
Published 12/2/00 – SP PP, Bulletin Board
The story about the little guy who knew the difference between imaginary monsters and real lions reminded me of taking my oldest grandson, Erik, to the movie, LION KING, when it first opened. He was more than happy to go with me even though he had just seen it a few days before with his parents.
It seemed like we had no more than settled down, when he made a bee-line for the lobby. I quickly followed and asked what was wrong. He told me there was a real scary part coming up that he didn’t want to watch, and he would go back when it was over.
Naturally, I got down on one knee and spouted some silly grown-up logic about it being only a movie, nothing to be afraid of, just images on the screen, etc..
“I know all that, Poppa,” he said, “But what if the glass breaks?”
Made perfect sense to me. We watched the movie in bits and pieces. When he took off for the lobby, I quickly followed without argument.
This is one of the first Old Hand stories. Today, Erik is on the other side of ‘the glass’. After graduating with a degree from Gustavus, he got a plum internship in EPCOT Center’s Living Seas Aquarium, the second largest aquarium in the world. His prime job is putting on a wet suit and taking care of the manta rays, although he swims with other varieties of sea life, including sharks.