hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


June 27, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: A young girl named Alice


What transpired over the next five days was akin to a modern approach of "Alice in Wonderland." If fact, we set the tone by watching the film that evening. In the days that followed, she entertained herself in the clubhouse pool, watched her favorite movies, dined with pleasure, ran amok in a supermarket, and played some of her favorite games.

With school still in session, Alice would get dropped off in the morning and picked up later that afternoon. She was exposed to classical music during both drives.

"This is Beethoven," I explained, after a rendition of his "Pastoral" suite. "He wrote that when he was deaf."

Alice was impressed with the great composer's life, but more with the St. Bernard movie bearing the same name. She was also attuned to a movement of Bizet's "Carmen" and, just for kicks, I slipped in a CD of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker." Most cultured kids will enjoy that, even if their tastes aren't classical.

We bonded nicely, getting our bearings on such fantasy icons as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Alice is still on the credulous side when it comes to the world of make-believe because, as she puts it, "Dreams won't come true unless we give up on them."

Sage advice, kid. There'll always be a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, provided you get to it first.

In the days we spent together, Alice nixed the veggies on her plate and turned a dissenting eye to fruit. Cocoa Puffs got her day started and no McDonald's Happy Meal was turned down.

She could sing the entire lyrics to "Eye of the Tiger" and never saw a "Rocky" rerun she found tedious. Her latest fling with Hollywood was a bit of a stunner. She's got the movie and sequel to "Men in Black," impervious to the horrific graphics and green slime.

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