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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Tales From the City

Just how old are you?

A grandson gets a history lesson.

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On the beach last summer, my 6-year-old grandson Sam was sadly watching the tide go out, away from his sand castle. I told him that we would bring a tennis ball to the beach the next day and I would show him how, when I was his age, my father built castles with a ramp to roll the ball down and around the castle. Sam looked at me with a shocked expression. “Nana, they had tennis balls then?”

Katy Welch / Milton

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