“Gram, Ms. Chambers handed back our World War II papers today. I got a big fat C, which probably means I’ll get a C in the class, too.”
“So tell me more about this report, Carrie.”
“We had to interview somebody who had lived during World War II. By then, you were in Washington, D.C. on your trip, and Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me call Grandpa and Grandma Collins long distance because Dad said there were plenty of people right in town I could interview for free.”
“So who did you end up interviewing?” Gram always sounds like she’s really interested in what I’m doing, not like Mom who’s usually half listening while she does something else, or Dad who acts like he hasn’t heard a word I said.
“Mr. Kingston down the block. I’m going to fix you up with him.” I raise my eyebrows at Gram in a knowing look. “I used to think he was weird, but it was fun talking to him.”
“You will do no such thing. Besides, you’re right. He always was somewhat odd.”
“Well, he’s not. Anyway, by then I was desperate.”
“So what did he say?”
“He really got into it. He brought out all his medals and pictures and even a diary he wasn’t supposed to keep because of security reasons. He served in the North Pacific Theater in Alaska. I didn’t know they fought World War II in Alaska. In fact, when I told Dad, he made me look it up in the encyclopedia just to be sure. Of course, Mr. Kingston was right. The Japanese invaded some islands up there, the uh…”
“Yeah, that’s right. Anyway, Mr. K fought on Attu when they tried to get the island back from the Japanese. But it turns out the Japanese had snuck away in boats during the night before the Allies landed. Spooky, huh?”
Gram is staring out her big picture window. “Gram? Hello….Gram?”
Her face is white, like she has just seen a ghost or something. Gram finishes wrapping the glass in her hand and puts it in the box.