Collaborative effort comes from child’s plea, ‘Tell me more, please’
Bryce Carter Fox is four-years old.
And he loves his grandfather.
Remember that, keep that in mind, because this story has a number of awe-inspiring elements, but the fact that Bryce Carter Fox is four-years old and loves his grandfather is the driving force — the key — to all of this.
But it started with a poem and Bryce Carter Fox asking his grandfather to “Tell me more please.”
Lynn Fox knows his history. He’s lost count of the number of historical programs and presentations he has made to students, civic and church groups, and public events.
He is a history fanatic.
“I was going to a Christmas party,” Fox said. “And I didn’t want to go to a Christmas party and talk about Davey Crockett or something along those lines.”
Fox had an idea, an epiphany if you will.
General George Washington crossed the Delaware
It starts with a holiday, a poem, and a bit of a problem.
Nothing major, just a small request.
A little help.
“Well, I knew the poem ‘’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and I thought I could do something with that,” Fox said. “But I’m not a writer. That’s not what I do. So I called Anderson County High School and asked to speak to someone in the English department, told them what I was trying to do and they said, ‘We know just the person.’”
Fox talked with ACHS English teacher Loris Price.
Could she help?
“I think I may have changed one or two things in her poem, but what she came up with was wonderful,” he said.
What Price came up with was ‘Twas the Night Before,’ a poem about Washingston’s crossing of the Delaware River on Dec. 26, 1776.
“I’ve been using this for two years,” Fox said.
In 2018 Loris Price, through Amazon, published the poem.
Bryce Carter Fox likes the stories his grandfather tells him.
He likes to visit the places in those stories.
He likes to pick up sticks and pretend they’re swords or guns.
lastic Army men are green.
Bryce Carter Fox likes to take “props” with him on his trips with his “granddaddy.”
Now that could be his Civil War uniform, his toys swords and/or guns from that era, or plastic Army men.
So when Lynn Fox got together with Price to talk about these history adventures with his grandson, the idea of a series of books about those trips came about.
See, Bryce likes to ask, repeatedly, “Tell me more, please.”
“I do this year-round but he by far the toughest audience I’ve ever spoken tom” Lynn Fox laughed. “And it’s constant. I’ll tell him one thing and it’s ‘Tell me more, please.’ He’s a very curious young man.”
On thee excursions Bryce will some times dress for the part — wearing a Civil War era uniform. He will listen and he will ask questions, and he’ll make his own assumptions.
Lynn Fox tells of the time he told Bryce about the “Great Locomotive Chase” when Union troops stole a Confederate train and stormed through Georgia before getting captured.
Fox told his grandson this before they took the Tram up Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga.
“Is this the train they stole?” Bryce asked.
Another time Fox took his Bryce to Chickamauga Battlefield. He asked him if he could see the Union lines forming in the distance.
“He said, ‘Yes, I can,’” Fox said. “Then he said, ‘We’re pretending, right?’”
It are these moments Fox has asked Price to help capture in print, to share with others, to maybe help another grandfather with a curious grandson enjoy their time together.”
Ånd while Price and her artists capture these moments on paper, sometimes a little conflict arises.
“Lynn pointed out that the Army men should be blue and grey, for the two armies during the conflict, but we had to stick with the green,” Price said.
“I asked my husband and he said plastic Army men are always green.”
Price said Lynn Fox will point out some details on the art work and tell her that “this color is wrong,” or there is a mistake in the dress or equipment.”
“The artists will change that. This is, after all, what the stories are about: History,” she said. “But there have been one or two things they (the artists) just say, ‘Hold on a minute…’”
But she said it is a collaborative work. There aren’t egos or “my way or the highway” attitudes involved. That the stories and art work being produced are more along the lines of “how tos” than history lessons.
“It was a simple suggestion,” Price said. “It’s like we’re making history accessible so a grandparent can tell their grandchild about that history.”