WACO, TX (Fox 44) — Many people spend their lives keeping a journal or diary documenting important moments. But, a local man has kept these childhood diaries all his life and is now turning them into something more.
Baylor alumnus Andy Pittman, also known as Grandy, kept a diary growing up… writing in it every day in 1957.
He decided he needed to keep this diary and share these stories with others, turning it into a children’s book.
“I sat down and started editing all this stuff here,” Pittman said. “I had to because the original little book wasn’t much bigger than that, and it was literally starting to fall apart, and I had done it in pencil. So I said, I have to save this thing .
It highlights a memory that happened every month in 1957, when he was 12 years old.
A fun memory he wrote about is riding in the ice cream truck eating ice cream from the machine.
“We had ice cream everywhere, and it was the best time we’ve ever had,” Pittman said.
He even documented the first girl he ever liked.
“I used to go to school early and pick flowers from the flower garden and put them on her desk thinking maybe she’d pay attention to me,” Pittman said.
The most influential experience – picking cotton in Arkansas.
“It was the thing that changed my life forever,” Pittman said. “I walked out of class, go over there and you get your toe sack, hessian sacks of potatoes, tied around the waist, then drop us off.”
While picking cotton, he was exposed to different people and their struggles.
“And I would also ask them, where do you live? Shacks,” Pittman said. “There were cabins that the owners had there on the property. I said, well, what are you drinking? They bring us water there. OK. So you don’t have running water.
He also decided that he had to go to school.
“I realized that if I don’t get an education, and if we don’t leave this place here, that’s what I’m going to do,” Pittman said. “I’m going to pick cotton or do something like that.”
He wanted to make something of himself, so he graduated from high school and moved to Waco so he could go to school at Baylor, just like his father. Now he lives in Waco and shares his stories.