I recently finished Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss. I enjoyed learning about our president’s lineage and how he found himself at age 27. That gives me one year to reasonably find myself, which is great, because I already found myself when I was 22, somewhere outside Fort Worth, Tex. But that is another story for another time. Anyway, I thought the following passages from the book were very touching, so I typed them up for you.
1. The main man in Barry’s life then was his grandfather. For all his idiosyncrasies and failings, for all his eruptions after his daughter announced she was pregnant, Stan was devoted to the little boy. It was Stan who took him to see Gordo Cooper, Stan who carried him down the hot sands of Waikiki Beach, Stan who bought him his first shave ice. Who was this little kid at his side or on his shoulders with a darker shade of skin? Stan had his own line that he used on strangers wherever they went: “this boy is the great-great-grandson of Hawaii’s first king, Kamehameha the Great,” he would boast, urging tourists to take out their cameras. “I’m sure your picture’s in a thousand scrapbooks, Bar,” his grandson remembered being told by him later.
2. Barry was not ready for school, though his grandmother thought he could have handled it. “Before he could walk, Madelyn told me he was a genius,” her brother Charles Payne recalled.