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My Grandmother's Hair

Author: Cynthia Rylant

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MEMOIR BY CYNTHIA RYLANT

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When I was living in my grandparents' small white house in Cool Ridge, West Virginia, I loved to comb my grandmother's hair. I was a thin, blondheaded little girl, and I would climb up on the back of the couch where my grandmother was sitting, straddle her shoulders with my skinny six-year-old legs, and I would gently, most carefully, lift a lock of her soft gray hair and make my little pink comb slide through it. This always quieted us both, slowed down our heartbeats, and we would sigh together and then I would lift up another lock.

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Sep 19
Sefora Wilson-King (Sep 19 2014 3:57AM) : This child loves her grandmother and had the experience to live with her when she was young.
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Sep 19
Brian King (Sep 19 2014 4:00AM) : I think your comment is wrong.
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Sep 19
Jake Jacobs (Sep 19 2014 4:01AM) : She's just saying that nowadays
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Sep 19
Jake Jacobs (Sep 19 2014 3:55AM) : never knew that
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Sep 19
Melissa Procton (Sep 19 2014 3:56AM) : Cynthia enjoyed combing her grandmothers hair because she found it calming and provided the opportunity to slow down. more

I assumed that Cynthia enjoyed combing her grandmother’s hair because of the conversation that occurred between them. I found it interesting that they didn’t always talk during these sessions but that they were still just as meaningful.

We talked of many things as I combed her fine hair. Our talk was quiet, and it had to do with those things we both knew about: cats, baking-powder biscuits, Sunday school class. Mrs. Epperly's big bull. Cherry picking. The striped red dress Aunt Violet sent me.

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But we didn't always talk. Sometimes we were quiet. We would just think, and my small hands would move in my grandmother's hair, twirling, curling, rolling that soft grayness around. We thought about good things, the big clock in the living room ticking, and sometimes my grandmother would shiver and we laughed.

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Sep 19
Katie Dennison (Sep 19 2014 3:53AM) : My grandmother and I would hang out and it was fun. We laughed a lot. more

I liked this text a lot because I really connected with it. My grandma and I are really close, so I felt like I knew what she was talking about in this passage.

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Jake Jacobs (Sep 19 2014 4:02AM) : The whole thing reminded me of Psycho with the lady in the attic
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Sep 19
Jake Jacobs (Sep 19 2014 4:00AM) : I don't get it

I often put bobby pins in her hair, made pin curls with them, and the rest of the morning or afternoon my grandmother would wear these pin curls I had made. Later, I'd watch as she stood before her mirror, taking them out one by one, and her gray locks would be tight as bedsprings and would dance if you pulled on them. But when she brushed through these tight little wads of curl, her hair became magic and grew and covered her face like a lion's mane.

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Sep 19
Jake Jacobs (Sep 19 2014 3:59AM) : when is gray spelled grey
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I thought many times that I might grow up to be a hairdresser, twirling ladies' gray locks into magic curls and watching their faces light up as they saw themselves change.

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But I became a writer instead. And used my pen like a little pink comb, and got quiet, and thought good thoughts, and twirled and curled and rolled words into good stories. The stories became books, and with the same hands I had once combed her hair with, I handed these books to my grandmother and watched as she turned the pages one by one, the big clock in the living room ticking.

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Sep 19
Jake Jacobs (Sep 19 2014 3:58AM) : I think that's a matter of opinion
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Sep 19
Jake Jacobs (Sep 19 2014 3:56AM) : it seems like she's going to die soon more

real soon

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Brian King (Sep 19 2014 4:01AM) : Damn, stop using up all the comments!

DMU Timestamp: September 17, 2014 22:45

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