NPR's National Day of Listening is November 28, 2008. I asked Elliot to write down three questions he'd like to ask his family.
Elliot's Questions for his mom
1. How do you find dollar coins?
I have collection of silver dollars that I received as gifts from my grandma over the years. Silver dollars are special so most people keep them and don't spend them. But you can get the coins from a bank.
2. How do you keep stuff so long?
Why? or How? You can't save everything. I moved a lot as a young adult, but saved a few boxes of things from my childhood - my coin and postcard collections, my Japanese curio collection, handkerchief collection that includes many of my great grandmother's handkerchiefs. I saved them because they're special to me, they represent memories of people I loved.
3. I don't know if you know anything about your Dad in the war, what do you know?
I know that he was wounded in the war and he was lucky to have survived. He was an officer in the Army and led a platoon of soldiers. One day he stepped on a landmine and it exploded and hurt him badly. He recovered in Hawaii and lived with the pieces of metal called shrapnel in his body for the rest of his life. He didn't talk about the war a lot, but I know he was proud of serving in the Army and it made a major impact on his life. You can ask Grandma Judy if you want to know more.
Elliot's Questions for Grandpa Victor
1. What did your mom and dad look like? What were they like?
My father was short with a light complexion. He lost his hair young. My mom was very pretty. She had dark hair. She was very smart, she read a lot and was fun to talk to. My mother and I would talk for hours. She liked to play tricks on people and had a good sense of humor. When she was growing up the librarian told her she had read every book in the whole library.
2. What was your favorite day in your life?
My favorite day was the day Elliot was born. Also the day your dad Danny read to me for the first time.
3. Do you remember the first time you lost your tooth?
I don't remember losing it but I remember putting my tooth under my pillow and waking up the next morning and finding a quarter in its place.
Elliot's Questions for Grandma Judy
1. What is your earliest memory?
One thing I remember is waiting in the car with my dad to visit my mom who had just had Uncle Leonard in the hospital. I remember looking at the crib where my brother usually slept and another baby was in the crib. It was my neighbor's baby.
2. What is your favorite memory of me?
I was very excited when I held you when you were born. You were so healthy and darling. You were a very clever little baby. You liked music a lot. We would sing to you and you would stop crying because you liked music so much.
3. How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who loves her family, was kind to her friends. Someone who loves beautiful clouds and trees and nature. Someone who loves laughing. Someone who really loves her daughter and son and grandchildren.