Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Scout Grandma Still Maintains Appetite for Hawking Cookies

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Scout Grandma Still Maintains Appetite for Hawking Cookies

Article excerpt

I am the grandma/Girl Scout leader you might have seen last month standing at the supermarket with a card table or shopping cart full of boxes of our famous cookies.

From the top seller in the nation, the Thin Mint, or the No. 2 seller, the Samoas, on down to the least favored, which shall remain nameless, I had them all.

Unlike the leaders who show up at your store with those adorable little girls in curls and Brownie uniforms or wearing green vests full of badges, I am often alone. Our troop is what we now call Ambassador, reduced to five girls in the 11th grade.

I have been with their leader since she was a first-grade Brownie. I have four different granddaughters who have been scouts through high school graduation.

We are united in supporting the Girl Scouts as mother-daughter- granddaughters, and I can't begin to calculate the number of boxes of cookies we have sold in all those years. However, these troop members work now, or have after-school sports and other activities, in addition to all-important social lives. They don't have much desire to spend time with cookies at the supermarket entrance.

I, on the other hand, love it. Of course I have other stuff I could do, and projects either waiting to be finished or started, or some TV show or phone call I could be engaged in, or at my age a nap that always beckons about mid-afternoon. But I am compelled to sell the cookies.

This endeavor helps to keep me sharp, as I use my best tone of voice and a cheat sheet -- oops, I mean my math skills -- to add up the total for your boxes. I can make change like a bank teller, too.

There was the time, however, when I dropped the money, and my twenties and fives got all mixed up, and I overpaid someone and owed a small amount and spent about an hour trying to make it all balance before I figured it out. Now I wear a coat with a hidden pocket, and I keep big bills there and the rest sort of organized in other pockets and envelopes.

I like watching humanity pass by me. I see all of the latest fashions -- some of them odd or scary. I see America's future on parade -- in the kids sitting in a shopping cart, or in a baby carrier perched atop it or tagging along behind mom or dad. …

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