Grandparent of the Year Essay Contest winning entries, along with the subject of each essay, are pictured above. From left to right: Camrick Smith-Wright and grandfather E.D. Wright (first place), Conlan Beck and grandmother Brenda Faye Beck (second place), Caleb Guffey and grandfather David Guffey (third place – tie) and Hunter Burchett and grandfather Larry Waid (third place – tie).
Members of the Clinton County Retired Teacher’s Association once again gathered last week to honor a group of Clinton County Middle School students who had penned winning contest essays.
The annual “Why My Grandparent Should Be Kentucky Grandparent of the Year” essay contest has long been sponasored locally by the Retired Teachers Association, urging local fifth grade students to write essays and submit them to be judged.
Kim Stonecipher, the fifth grade CCMS teacher who has for many years coordinated the essay writing effort with the students, brought the winning essay authors to the Retired Teacher’s Association meeting last week at Lee’s Famous Recipe. The winning authors read each essay aloud to the group, which also included the student’s grandparents in the audience as well.
The local winners were presented with appreciation certificates and the winning essay, written by Cammrick Smith-Wright, will be submitted for district competition. If chosen as a district winner, the essay will then become an entry in the state-wide Grandparent of the Year essay contest.
The event is sponsored statewide by the Kentucky AARP and the Kentucky Retired Teachers’ Association (KRTA).
This year’s contest was the 12th annual in Kentucky.
As has long been a custom in conjunction with the essay contest, the Clinton County News is publishing the top winning essays in this week’s issue, along with congratulations to the winning authors – and the grandparents who were the subjects of the essays.
E.D. Wright – I call him Daddy D
My grandpa’s full name is Gayron E. D. Wright but I call him Daddy D. He has gray hair and brown eyes. I have lived with him since I was a wee little lad about four or five months old. Even though he doesn’t feel like taking me to church sometimes because of the surgery on his leg, he always makes sure I get there. He has taught me to not lie, steal, or gamble. He has me spoiled rotten and he gets me almost everything I want. Daddy D is always nice to everyone. These are some reasons why I think my Daddy D should be Kentucky Grandparent of the Year.
Daddy D has two handicaps. One is that he can’t walk very good. When he had surgery on his leg, the doctor said, “He won’t make it off of the table,” but Daddy D did. Then the doctor said, “He won’t ever walk again.” But the next Sunday Daddy D got up and walked to the bathroom. The other handicap is he is blind in one eye. Daddy D said that he once got a piece of copper wire stuck in his pupil. OUCH!!! Talk about pain. I often say he has been rode hard and put up wet. But Daddy D has taught me to always fight through hard things, not to sit down and complain because that is not going to help anyone because if you do that you will make people mad. I’m sure other people have got problems of their own.
Daddy D is a really good Christian. He goes to church every Sunday. Sometimes Daddy D is hurting really bad. He doesn’t say it but I can tell. Even though he is hurting, he makes sure I get to Sunday School, even if it isn’t him that takes me. When he does go with me, we sit together on the third pew on the left side. Daddy D listens to the preacher intently. He reacts to what the preacher says by saying “Amen, Bless him Lord, and Hallelujah.” He keeps his Bible with him where ever he goes. Daddy also taught Sunday School back in his day, and his wife was the church treasurer. Daddy D has always taught me to do the right thing. He has taught me to go by the Ten Commandments. Me personally, I think this is the neatest thing ever that he has taught me. Daddy D says that the Bible means Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. He knows all of this because he has been going to church since he was a wee little baby.
Daddy D and me have too many memories to write on this little sheet of paper. The one I remember most is when Daddy D had surgery. Now this memory shoots pain through my heart. It’s like someone grabs my heart and twists, tugs, and pulls. Yeah, it’s a real tear jerker. That day Daddy D was on the table (they cut a hole as big as four of my fists put together). Yeah, it was a pretty big hole. Something didn’t look right that day. His eyes were as blue as the darkest depths of the sea. Yeah, it’s freaky. The doctor said, “I’m sorry, but he’s going to die on the table.” But Daddy D lived. Then the doctor said, “He won’t ever walk again.” But that Sunday Daddy D got up and walked to the bathroom and back. The doctor said, “No way you walked even that far.” Then Daddy D said, “I got news for you. It isn’t over until my God says it’s over.” Daddy D has inspired me to never quit, no matter what.
I would just like to tell you about when I told Daddy D that I had nominated him for Kentucky Grandparent of the Year. I just wish you could have seen the look on his face
1st Place Kentucky
Grandparent of the Year Essay
Camrick Smith-Wright – 5th Grade
Brenda Faye Beck – I call her Grandma
My grandparent’s name is Brenda Faye Beck, but I call her Grandma. Grandma is kind of short but she still has accomplished many things. She has a nursing degree, was the team captain for the Lady Bobcats Basketball team, and was Prom Queen during her senior year in high school. Grandma has some disabilities but she still serves the Lord. She has me spoiled rotten. Every Sunday after church she takes me somewhere to eat. The best thing about Grandma is she is the kindest person I have ever met. These are some of the reasons I nominate Grandma to be the Kentucky Grandparent of the Year.
Grandma is the best Christian I have ever met in my life. If it wasn’t for her, my dad wouldn’t be in church. She has also been a significant reason why my whole family is in church. Grandma always sits up front in church and I sit with her. She has dedicated herself to her church. She is their treasurer and she helps with the nursery sometimes. If I start talking, she quickly lets me know that I don’t talk during church. Grandma prays every time she gets the chance. She can’t bow down, but she goes to the altar anyway. Grandma is the biggest reason that I am a Christian and I want to thank her for that. If she hadn’t led me to God, I don’t know what I would do.
About a year ago my mom found out she had cancer. Ever since then, Grandma has been there every step of the way. She stayed with Mom for months at a time in Lexington. She also takes care of Mom when I am at school and Dad is at work. She really cheers my mom up. Mom has said time and time again she doesn’t know what she would do without Grandma. Grandma has also taken care of me. When I got badly sick last year, Grandma had to take care of me. She has been a major reason why our family kept going. Grandma is very willing to help in times of emergency. She is so kind and I hope I can be as kind as her one day. The situations that she helps with are enough to drive a man mad, but Grandma can still handle them. I want to thank her for everything she has done. We wouldn’t have made it without her.
Grandma has taught me so much with her life experiences. One of the things she taught me is that through hard work you can do anything. She said she practiced a lot in basketball and eventually became their team captain. By teaching me this she caused me to practice so hard that I tried out for the basketball team and got picked. Another thing Grandma taught me was that if you put all your trust in God, He will do great things. She said you have to have faith. By doing this she gave me more faith than most people in the church. Another thing she taught me was not to hold a grudge. She said mainly because my cousin and I used to bicker and fight with each other all the time. Grandma didn’t want us to get angry at each other and do something we would regret later. She wanted us to stay close friends. By doing this, my cousin and I have become best friends. I have no idea what I would do without Grandma teaching me these things. She has made me a better person, and I want to thank her for that.
I am glad I wrote this essay because it has made me see how special my Grandma is to me. When I put my thoughts down on paper, I realized that Grandma is a bigger part of my life than I thought before. I won’t take Grandma for granted anymore, and I’m glad I have nominated Grandma for the Kentucky Grandparent of the Year.
2nd Place Kentucky
Grandparent of the Year Essay
Conlan Beck 5th Grade
David Guffey – I call him Papa
My Grandpa is a good teacher of the outdoors. He can be funny sometimes. When we are fishing there are usually ducks and geese on the water, and Grandpa tells me where to cast and what bait to use. Also, when we sit on the porch we look for squirrels and buzzards. Grandpa tells me about when he was in war and drove tanks. He has shown me his uniform and the medals that he got. Grandpa also gardens. He has taught me how to plant, pick, and plow. Grandpa goes to every church service.
A special activity that me and my Papa do together is hunting. His favorite season is deer season. Sometimes I think my grandpa is like a deer: smart, strong, and quiet. He always teaches me something when we’re on a hunt and he tells me things about my dad. Also when we’re on hunts, we like to talk about what we may see, such as rabbits, turkeys, ground hogs, and stuff like that. My grandpa is the best. I would not trade my grandpa for nothing, not even a million and a half dollar house.
Grandpa and I had a special place we would go. It was a big bluff that had a little stream going through it and a little shack. Soon as you enter through the brush and tall trees you see a wild blackberry patch that we picked for blackberry jam. When I was little, every time I was at Papa’s house, I was wanting to go there. It was a fun place to be. Once I slipped when the stream rubbed against the rocks and made them very slippery. My heart rate shot up I was so afraid. Luckily, I did not go off the bluff. Grandpa asked if I was okay. I said yeah. Grandpa loved this place and so did I. This was our special place—no one else’s, just ours.
There’s been a lot of lessons taught at my grandpa’s. I mean a lot. Once there was an electric fence. Grandpa told me not to go around it, but it was tempting. One day we were in the long wide field that the electric fence was in. I ran up to it, grabbed it, and I dropped to the ground. Grandpa helped me up, dusted me off, and said, “I told you.” I said, “I know.” Another time when we were fishing, I wanted to go on a little island that was in the middle of the pond. Grandpa did not want to but we did. A big goose came out of the bushes and then a male came up and started flogging me. I ran! Grandpa simply said, “That’s why I hate islands.”
I am happy that I decided to choose my grandpa to write this essay on because there are many interesting things about him and more interesting things about his life. I wish I could tell you more about him because if you got to know him, you would want to choose him for Kentucky Grandparent of the Year too.
(3rd Place (TIE) Kentucky Grandparent of the Year Essay)
Caleb Guffey – 5th Grade
Larry Waid – I call him Pa
My grandparent’s name is Larry Waid. I call him Pa. He is a fairly tall man. He is a mechanic. Me and Pa work on dozers, tractors, and other heavy machinery. His back is out so he pays me to be his arms and back. Pa is a preacher too. His belief in God is unbelievable. I nominate my pa to be Kentucky Grandparent of the Year.
One special memory with Pa is when we went fishing. We had a club called “The Good Buddy Club”. We would shake hands and say “Friends Forever!” We would only do it when we were hunting or fishing. Sometimes people would stare, but we would just give them a friendly wave. Another good memory with Pa is when we were hunting. We were just talking up a storm when a deer walked not five feet away. I eased down the gun and it ran like lightning. I was depressed but Pa just did the “Good Buddy Hand Shake” and I was happy as a rabbit in a carrot maze. Me and Pa really are friends forever.
Something special I have done with Pa is mechanic work. We work on tractors and dozers. Working with Pa is really fun! He pays me about five dollars. Even though I tell him, “No, you don’t got to pay me,” he puts it in my pocket. Working on stuff is fun cause I like getting dirty and cause I am helping my Pa. You see, his back is out so I am his back for him. I do most of the lifting. Then when the work is done, we go in, get some coffee, and take a nap. The most fun thing is being with Pa.
Pa’s belief in God is great! The main reason is because he is a preacher. Pa really trusts God. But once he didn’t believe in God. I don’t know the story behind that but he preaches it in church. Pa reads a couple of pages from the Bible every morning and every night. He always reminds me that some stuff is wrong to do. Pa’s back is out, but he still is loyal to God. Many people, if that happened to them, would say something like “Do you enjoy watching me suffer?” But Pa just says, “Pray for me.” Even if Pa is sick he still preaches. We have never had to have a different preacher. Pa’s belief in God is outstanding!
I am glad I wrote this essay because it has made me see how my Pa is to me. When I put my thoughts on paper I realized Pa is my best friend and a big part of my life. I know not to take Pa for granted, and I’m glad I wrote this essay. I’m also glad that I nominated Pa for Kentucky Grandparent of the Year.
3rd Place (TIE)
Kentucky Grandparent of the Year Essay
Hunter Burchett – 5th Grade