Terri Harris Mainwaring’s grandfather was not even a touch grumpy. This writer can vouch for that as she remembers him coming to talk at Hillview School in the late 50s and early 60s about his days as an errand boy for Thomas A. Edison.
So why did Terri, who went on to graduate from Menlo-Atherton High School before heading to Arizona for college and a career in education, write her first book of children’s fiction (with co-author Bonnie Jacobs) titled They Call Him Grumpa.
“So many of Bonnie’s and my friends are grandparents, and most have Grammys that dote and spoil and Grandpas that like to complain and pretend not to like the changes that little ones bring to their lives. They act grumpy on the outside but are anything but that when spending quality time with their darling grandchildren.”
Terri was a teacher, principal and then administrator for K through 12 during her career in education. She long wanted to write, and when she retired, she joined a writing club. “We had an amazing teacher who would give us assignments and then we’d write and write and write,” she recalled. “We’d critique each other’s work. Everybody always had something wonderful to add.
“We did that for three years. That culminated in Bonnie and I getting the assignment to write a non-fiction book for Arizona Agriculture, Bee’s Amazing Adventure. It’s still read aloud by farmers who visit classrooms shortly before Thanksgiving.”
Next up for Terri and Bonnie: a book about a grandmother.
Photos courtesy of Terri Mainwaring