Professor Claude C Crawford

3. Paul Learns to Tie his Shoes - 1935

One summer when my Mother was still going to the University to get her degree, I was sent to an uncle to spend the summer. It was my Mother's oldest brother Claude C Crawford. He was Uncle CC (to me). He was quite wealthy and lived in a big house in Los Angeles. It was a palace to me. He has a pinball machine in the first floor that was fun to play. He had a box of nickels so you could play all you wanted. He also had a fine pool table so we kids could play pool. He had a cabinet full of games and toys for us kids. Uncle CC was a professor at the University of Southern California, and a fine distinguished man. His wife, Aunt Ina, was so kind to us even though we were the poor relatives. Uncle CC had hundreds of books in shelves that lined the walls of his house and he encouraged me to read books.

One day he discovered that I could not tie my own shoes and he determined to teach me. I just could not learn and Uncle CC spent hours trying to teach me how. He was most patient but I just could not do it. After several days he decided to teach me how to tie my shoes with just one bow and I soon could do it much to my delight and his relief. After a few days he showed me how to do it with two bows and wonder of all wonders I could do it. I was so happy. In later years I was in awe of this great-learned man who spent hours to teach a small boy a simple trick and I admired his patience and perseverance in his efforts. Years later when I was about 24 I had a chance to thank him for his kindness to a young boy.

Professor Claude C. Crawford