I don’t have children, so I’ve never had the experience of teaching them and reinforcing lessons. But I have had experience with relatives with dementia who have lost their memories, who are unable to make new ones, who are unable to recover what’s been lost, and in trying to guide someone untethered from their memories. It is, to say to the least, disorienting.
This all came to mind reading Roses in December (The Kent State University Press, 2015). The book by Tom Batiuk and Chuck Ayers collects two storylines from Crankshaft, a comic strip that the two worked on for 30 years together, until Ayers retired in 2017 and Dan Davis replaced him as the artist. I grew up with Batiuk’sFunky Winkerbean, which he wrote and drew until the strip was retired in 2022, but in the pre-internet days of my childhood I never knew there was a strip about a curmudgeonly ex-baseball player turned school bus driver named Ed Crankshaft.