Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Can't See But I Can Imagine

Patty asks her grandmother, "What is it like not to be able to see?" Grammie says, "I can't see, but I can imagine!"

Patty's grandmother is blind, but together they share adventures as Grammie imagines things around her and composes songs for her five grandchildren. They laugh when they hear frog conversations in The Frog Song; hold their breath as they ride in a rocking chair, chariot with delightful ponies going to Rock-A-Bye Town; giggle when they meet Pepper in Patty's Puppy Pepper; stare in wonder at things below when Grammie's rocking chair turns into a swing and she is Swinging From a Star; and grin when they meet Mary Lou with her hair standing on end.

Wrapped inside a beautifully illustrated and colorful children's book with an accompanying CD, one family's priceless history has been forever preserved. Patricia's book I Can't See, But, I Can Imagine is a sixty-four page hard-bound book featuring colorful illustrations by Sharon Bean. The CD includes the entire story and five children's songs written by Patricia's grandmother, Persis Beach Bennett.

About the Author:

Patricia Wilson was born and raised in New England, and now lives in Central Oregon. As a child she was captivated by the songs her grandmother, Persis Beach Bennett, wrote. In 1915, about the time her last child was born, Persis began to have trouble seeing. By 1925, she was almost completely blind. Her blindness, however, never stopped her from enjoying life. She loved music and spent much of her time playing the piano and composing songs, recorded on 78 rpm records in 1949. Most of her music was Christian based and ballads, but she delighted her grandchildren by writing five songs for and about them. When Persis passed away in 1954, Patricia began worrying, "What will become of Grammie's music?" In 1994, she retrieved the records from a basement in New Hampshire. They were terribly scratched and nearly impossible to understand. She says, "With God's help and the assistance of many talented people in Central Oregon, all the music has been reproduced. I am delighted to share some of Grammie's music and stories with other people, especially children."

The book contains a CD with the story and children's music by Patricia's grandmother, Persis Beach Bennett, first recorded on 78rpm records in 1949, updated and reproduced in the 1990s.

Click this link to learn more about the book, hear samples of the songs, and to read the blog:

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