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She still calls me “Grampa”

Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2022. 12:29 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Hart Tillett: And there’re more about our granddaughter Alina Scott you may not hear about tonight.

Like her first experience of Fall in Oklahoma. Most Sundays she would come over for “Beans & Rice and Baked Plantain” As I drove her back to her campus apartment just when leaves began to turn I said to her; “Take a good look at that for in 2-3 weeks time there wont be a leaf anywhere to see.”

“Oh, really?” she replied. And no one says that like her.

 And then there was that first graduation thesis she wrote. It was titled LIKE A LONELY TREE IN A FIELD and is really a must read for anyone in this age of indigenous conservancy. See, there’s Cherokee in her genes and that title as I recall echoes the pain of a Cherokee Chief for his people’s suffering.

Her academic bent soon got the attention of the Head of the History Department at Southern Nazarene University (SNU). By the time she was in her Second Year he began to encourage her to apply for Summer attachments offered by leading universities as part of their search for top students for graduate studies. He being a Harvard man himself recommended his alma mater and Alina began her trolling of America’s finest–Harvard, University of Texas (UT) and others. She settled on UT. I believe she was turned off by those New England winters!

 Today everybody, male and female drives a car. But not everyone drives with skill and confidence; drives as if they are just going around the corner in their neighborhood. Alina does. Her paternal grandmother was visiting Belize and wanted to see Dangriga so we piled into the SUV in Belmopan for the 50-mile drive south via hills and valleys with Alina at the wheel. I was in the passenger seat beside her and there were moments when my left foot reached automatically for an imaginary brake pedal. After a while I could sit back and enjoy the ride. She likes driving, something that came in handy after she moved to Austin, Texas and needed to come back to Oklahoma to see her Grands, attend a friend’s wedding, or to give a speech at her alma mater.

Finally, although there’s lots more I could say, our conversation about SNU. This is not a large campus, nor does it have the timbre and instant name-recognition of a Yale, or Harvard, or MIT. I’d like to believe she chose this small Oklahoma university to be near to us and other family there. We were talking about this one day when I offered her the following POV:

 “It hardly matters where you start, Alina ” (a reference the other options she had). “What matters is what you do with what you have.” (I was speaking from my own experience as my alma mater  was also a small university.) Shortly afterwards her outgoing, pleasant and charming leadership style earned her the enviable role of Floor Counselor which she held for the rest of her SNU residence.

 Look at her now! All set and ready for the world stage. Let’s show her tonight how highly we regard her preparedness for this moment.

 And yes, she still calls ‘Freda my wife “Gramma,” and me “Grampa.” Oh, really!


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