Keith Richards Is Writing a Children’s Book. Yes, a Children’s Book

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards poses for photographers before signing copies of his autobiography "Life" in London“Keith Richards Is Writing a Children’s Book. Yes, a Children’s Book.” is the title of an article in the New York Times, March 11, 2014, by Allan Kozinn.

This is not just any children’s book.  This is a book about the impact of Keith Richard’s grandfather on Keith Richard’s life.  It may be hard to believe, but Keith Richards is a grandfather himself.  I know I cannot face Keith Richard’s long years or his picture showing those years consistently in media.  After all, I am his contemporary and I just cannot look that old.

However, this Grandma is jealous of something–Keith Richards’s relationship with his grandfather.  I wish I had had a relationship with my maternal grandfather like he did.  I know that even though I did not know my grandfather, it is because of him that I exist, thrive in the joys of life and face resiliently the hardships of life.  He gave my mother the strength, perseverance, resilience, hope and courage to survive the Holocaust and told her she would be the only survivor from their village.

Now, Keith Richards shares his story about his grandfather.  I cannot wait until it is published this fall, expected to be released September 9, 2014.  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will publish Mr. Richards’s “Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar,” as both a hardcover book with a CD and an ebook.  This is right in time for a holiday present for my grandchildren.  I wish I could use the book as a starting point to share my grandfather story – but –mine is just not appropriate for their ages. . . . but may yours is.

Mr. Kozinn compares Keith Richard writing his autobiography, “Life,” in 2010 to his writing “Gus and Me” and says:

In the book Mr. Richards, 70, will revisit some of the childhood memories he tapped while writing “Life” – specifically, those of his relationship with Theodore Augustus Dupree, his maternal grandfather, a jazz musician who encouraged Mr. Richards to take up the guitar.

 Humm. . . .Maybe the message is for grandma to encourage the grandchild to expand his or her horizons in some way–use our family genes and abilities for the grandchild to enhance and exceed in his or her life.  

 Mr. Kozinn continues:

 Mr. Richards’s main collaborator on the book is his 28-year old daughter, Theodora Dupree Richards, who was named for his grandfather. Ms. Richards, though best known as a model, studied at New York Academy of Art and the School of Visual Arts, and will be illustrating the book with pen and ink collages.

 Humm. . . .Maybe the message is to create something new for or with a grandchild that will last beyond this generation.  How lucky is it that my grandfather’s name is also continued in our family.  His name was given to my brother.

At the end of the article, Mr. Kozinn quotes Keith Richards:

“I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I’m talking about,” Mr.  Richards said in a statement. “The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured. This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me.”

Aha! May I be as great a grandmother to my grandchildren as my grandfather was to me, even though I never got to meet him.  May I pass along to my grandchildren the strengths he created in their grandmother, GG (great grandmother) , passed to me, to them.   I may not be able to pass my grandfather’s story along now, but through this blog, I have found the voice to pass along our family heritage, how traumatic and overwhelming a family history it is, to be there when my grandchildren are of an age to be able to absorb it.

No children’s book in this family, but I am looking forward to Keith Richard’s children’s book about his grandfather.  I do not think Keith Richards realizes how lucky he is to be able to share the relationship he had with his grandfather.

Yes, the bond, the special, unique bond between grandma and each precious grandchild that I treasure because it is such

 

Joy,

 

Mema

 

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