Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 81

By | June 28, 2024

[June 28, 2024]  My Dad really liked the song “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley, and I liked it too because of him.  As a little kid, this was now my favorite song, sung by the King of Rock and Roll and the man who jiggled his way to fame on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.  Legend has it that the famous and very popular Mr. Sullivan had the television cameras show only the upper body of Elvis to avoid “scandalizing” the show.  I remember thinking his visit to the show was the best thing ever!

Like many kids, I too fell into fashions, fads, and fun.  We kids were drawn to pet rocks, tie-dye t-shirts, super balls, bell-bottom jeans, love beads, Ouija boards, and yo-yos.  And so, when the kids at school played a game like the Twister, other kids also wanted to play.  So many of these seemed outrageously fun, and while participating, we could be part of the cool crowd or at least appear to be one of them.  Er, we were wrong.

More than anything, my sister Terri wanted a Troll Doll, a 3” tall, shockingly bright pink-haired, bug-eyed, half-naked, ugly plastic toy.  They were popular; my brother wanted one after seeing the little thing.  There were plenty of suckers everywhere in those early days when we were so very young.  And Terri just had to have a Barbie doll, also convincing our Mom to sew clothes for the doll.  Terri was so taken by Barbie she used her Easy Bake oven to “cook” food for Barbie and the Troll.

My brother Philip wanted a Yankee Civil War uniform; yep, he was the family’s black sheep for thinking that way.  But so did other kids in the neighborhood, and it was “the thing to do” for kids who had watched the film “The Horse Soldiers,“ starring John Wayne and William Holden, about a Union cavalry brigade raiding behind Confederate lines.  I admit that I did have an affinity toward horses and the cavalry.  We all had to have an “army uniform,” consisting of a Civil War hat, shirt, plastic sword, and a fake pistol and belt.  If you didn’t want one and weren’t in fashion attire, you were not part of our group.

My mother was clear; she had the final say on what clothes she would buy for me, and that was final.  At 15, I would have thought I could make my own wardrobe choices and not have my Mom override my “fashion” decisions.  She said, “You ain’t gonna get that!”  The Nehru shirt I wanted cost 25 whole smackers – dollars – but I was going to be a cool dude, even if it cost me nearly a month’s earnings.  Of course, it didn’t work out the way.  It never does because people’s worth is never based on their physical possessions but on what’s in their character.  After embarrassing myself enough times to teach a frog to jump, I learned that.

Later, before my senior year, I found a new game, handball.  It was all the rage.  Everyone played it, at least all the boys.  The problem for me was the ball beat the heck out of my right hand.  I liked it so much that I played at least ten games.  The next day, I could barely walk, and my hand was so swollen I couldn’t use it.  I’d heard that playing more the following day would make the current soreness disappear.  Wrong.  I was so sore that I needed crutches to walk and help get out of a chair.

The teenage years are where some mighty tough lessons are learned, preferably being a good person, how to conduct yourself in difficult circumstances, the right way to succeed, getting along with your family, being brave, improving one’s talents, and not doing anything stupid.  I struggled, of course.

I struggled big time, and I had a short temper.  Like so many young boys, I desperately wanted to be a man, but I did not have the know-how, the smarts, or the right attitude and with new-found hormones pumping through my blood.  My Mom and Dad did their best to help, but I thought they were a bunch of old fogies and wrongly ignored their guidance.

I might have been a good kid, but I was slow to learn that seeking fashion, fads, and fun does not work.


NOTE: See all my letters here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

29 thoughts on “Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 81

  1. Lou Schmerconish

    Gen. Satterfield, another powerful and loving letter to your granddaughter and I am liking these letters more and more.

  2. Judy Judy Judy

    Gen. Satterfield, as you know, I’m still fairly new to your blog and so far, I find it like a calling. I am drawn in to read and ponder sometimes how I can apply your lessons. In this case, your letters to your granddaugher are more than simple enterainment – they are fun to read – but underneath them, there is a look inside what a kid destined to be successful was like. Your recall is amazing. The details do make the “letter” more than it would be if was a generic style. thanks for what you are doing for your granddaughter and for us as well.

  3. Scotty Bush

    AMAZING …. Gen. Satterfield, you’ve done it again with this letter about “fashions, fads, and fun.” AMAZING.

      1. Danny Burkholder

        Jesse Lee is a hero of mine. And I can see why Gen. Satterfield respects him.

  4. Silly Man

    I’m impressed with these letters to Gen. Satterfield’s granddaughter. Each time I read one, I’m like “darn, couldn’t predict he would write that.” But, he never disappoints with his letters. What I find amazing is that his memory of his childhood is so clear. But I do see a patter. Each letter is based around something significant that happened in Gen. S’s life. Now, that might just be the trick; like his brother wanting a civil war uniform. Just me, or does everyone else enjoy these letters?

  5. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    READ READ READ these letters and you will never be disappointed and you might actually learn something important. How to think is one of Gen. Satterfield’s lessons. And that was the original reason I started reading the letters but now I’m caught up in the early life that Gen. S is writing about. Maybe he should write a book on this titled “Old Geezers from the 60s” or something like that. he he he he he he eh… just me thinking while typing. Another loving letter that is also entertaining. Well done!!!!!!!

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      I agree with that. Each letter is loving and his granddaughter will certianly appreciate them in the future if not today. And for us, they are informative and entertaining.

  6. Harold M. Smith II

    Every day is a happy day when I log on and get to read a letter by Gen. Satterfield to his granddaughter.

    1. Colleen Ramirez

      Got to agree with that sentiment. I am a fan from long ago. One of the benefits to reading his blog is that I get to see a perspective not often found in the media today. Media bias is so insidious that you are wasting your time if that is where you go for news. Forget them. Read more and read this website too.

  7. Patriot Wife

    We are all appreciative of his letters. I’m starting mine. In fact, last week I wrote my first letter to my children and will write one each week until I can no longer write. Why? They need to understand these times and the terrible division in our country thanks to our dementia patient as president Joe Biden. His horror is our horror. But alas, he is getting paid by the Chinese, Ukrainians, the Russians and others. I would guess that his bank account is full from Iran too, after he unnecessarily gave them billions of dollars. Now we have a much more dangerous world. Like Gen. Satterfield, I’m an American Patriot, Christian, and love my family and friends.

    1. Emma Archambeau

      Great comment, PW. I haven’t heard from you in a while. I’m happy that this letter brings you back. Have a great day.

      1. Jessica Luden

        Yes, indeed, a wonderful letter that we all can share. 👀👀👀👀👀👀

  8. Willie Strumburger

    Indeed, these are “lovely letters” but they are much more. These letters are a look inside the head of a little boy from the poor part of the Deep South – even if he does say he grew up “rich” – we know he grew up poor. And to join the Army as the lowest Private and eventually becoming an Army General. You just can’t make this up. Congratulations, Gen. Satterfield for all you’ve done for us and now also for your granddaughter. See all his letters here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/

  9. JT Patterson

    I gotta say that I love these lovely letters. No way I could write this good.

  10. Yusaf from Texas

    Nothing like a flashback to the 1960s. And I thought I was the only one enjoying these letters but after reading all the comments, I guess that I’m wrong. Gen. S., please continue this series. I am most interested in what you have to say in your college and military days. I know that you already have a book out titled, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” but I’d like to read more about your time in the Army. Good luck and I hope you get more ‘popular’ with each letter you publish here.

    1. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

      Yusaf, once again, thank you for your continued support and liking my daily articles. I am also enjoying writing these letters as they help me remember those “old days” of yore. I am surprised that I can remember as much as I do. Many of the memories I had to check with my brother and sister to make sure I’m right.

      1. Qassim

        Very good, Gen. Satterfield, and yes, those memories are there but just tucked back in our minds. Sometimes, it takes others like your siblings to help draw out the memories. Good luck, I too am loving this series.

    2. Big Al

      Yep ….. I’m a huge huge fan of these letters to Gen. Satterfield’s granddaughter. She might not yet appreciate the look back in time to when he was her age, or about her age, so that she can actually appreciate the letters. I know that I would but I’m an adult. The trick is how to you get a kid interested in reading letters from “the old days?” Now the answer to that question is more important than we might initially imagine.

  11. Melissa Jackson

    Wow, letter to his granddaughter No. 81. I’m starting to worry that at No. 100, this will be the end of the series. And, for our sake, I hope not. These letters, now being published for over a year starting in May of 2023, have been something special to me. I hope to someday write these kind of letters too. Keep them coming our way, Gen. Satterfield. And I will keep reading them. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    1. Erleldech

      You got that right, Melissa. And, if Gen. Satterfield goes beyond 100 – his goal – we will only clap and say we appreciate them all. Thanks. 👍

  12. Valkerie

    General Satterfield, another double hitter and a letter that I am going to personally cherish for a long long time. Well done!

    1. Jessie Taggart

      Camila, I agree that it is a powerful letter and that is why I’ve been re-reading them from the beginning. I recommend others do the same. They start to make more sense when you read from the first one to today. And Gen. S. has made that easy by having a separate tab, linked to at the bottom of each letter. Let us all wish openly that Gen. S. continues these letters at least to 100 that he promised. Gen. Satterfield …. another wonderful letter that made me laugh.

      1. Laughing Monkey

        Loving each letter and made my day.


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