(Lars) #1
Ihavetoadmittheexamplesfromhis
youth fascinated me.
He specialized in his adventures growing
upinOmahaintheearly1900s.Hisbroth-
ersthrewhimintoCarterLaketoteachhim
to swim. His family kept a cow named Lily
Whiteflowerwhomhe,agefour,ledintothe
church at Christmas to give Baby Jesus milk
in the Nativity display. He practiced baseball
withhisolderbrother,whoeventuallypitched
as“Smokin’Paul”inaminorleague.
On and on! He used those stories to urge
us children to fresh achievements. Of course
my sister Martha could make a skating rink
on an empty neighborhood lot. Yes, brother
Ted could enter the newspaper’s Mother’s Day
poetry contest and win.
One day he came home from work early
andsawmewatchingalocalTVshow—
Talent Sprouts,adailycontestforkids

My dad believed in responsibility!
Independence! New experiences!


by Rosemary Laughlin


Illustrated by Rachel Dougherty
text © 2019 by Rosemary Laughlin, art © 2019 by Rachel Dougherty

fourteen and under. Four performances filled
the half hour from 5:00 to 5:30. You might
watch anything from a violin solo to a magic
show. At the end the performers were spot-
lighted, and KMTV’s judges named a winner.
On Fridays the Monday-through-Thursday
winners competed to be Winner of the Week.
It didn’t take Daddy long to look me in the
eye. “You should go on Talent Sprouts. You c a n
play ‘Ave Maria.’ Think of it—an unforgettable
experience to be on TV as an eleven-year-old!”
I quailed. I didn’t want to. I was basically
shy. But I knew it would be useless to argue. He
was already off on his story about being a camel
in a grade-school play about the Magi. He made
the audience laugh with camel behavior that he’d
read about. Braying loudly, he kicked out one leg
at a time. He sniffed at the pot of frankincense
held out as a gift. He lay down and obstinately
refused to get up when the Magi returned from
visiting the Christ Child. He embellished a bit
more every time he told the story.

Talent Sprouts


A TALENT SHOW!?
LET’S DO IT!

EEK! QUAIL MEANS TO SHRINK
WITH FEAR.
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