The Herald Bulletin

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November 2, 2013

Theresa Timmons: Conner Prairie trip proves confusing for grandson

Back in time concept eludes 4-year-old

As we passed through the time portal into 1836 at Conner Prairie Settlement in Noblesville, my four-year-old not-reading-yet grandson looked up at the signs all around him. I tried to help him understand where we were going.

"Cayden we are going to a Prairietown now. A town from a long time ago! All the people will be wearing clothes that are different from ours." I pointed to one of the signs. "What else won't be in this town?"

He frowned and looked at the pictures on the sign. "No phones."

"Right! And no computers or microwaves or cars." I watched his face for evidence that he was absorbing the time travel concept. He didn't appear to be confused. Good. I mentally patted myself on the back for my skill in explaining it all.

"Mamaw?"

"What?"

"Awe these people in this pwace dead?"

A woman walking nearby snickered. So much for 100% comprehension.

"No they are not zombies. They are just people pretending to live in a town a long time ago."

We entered the village with 1830's style houses lined each side of the street, a few with yards enclosed with picket fences. One home in particular stood out from the rest - with its painted wood siding and larger size it was clearly the home of the town's more prosperous resident, the doctor.

We noticed a man step out the door. He was wearing a dapper suit and tie, and plopped a tall black top hat on his head.

"Hey Cayden, do you think that guy coming out of the doctor's house might be the doctor?" I watched for his reaction. Cayden has a personal problem with doctors (since the dual-thigh immunization incident) and feels strongly that they all belong in prison.

He took a long look at the man, taking in details of his garb, particularly the tall hat. He gave me an all-knowing look.

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