10 Country: Blake's balloons - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Blake's balloons

September 17, 2002

In the modern world of instant communications, a young boy uses a novel way to communicate with his grandfather.

He can act rough, and tough, a young fighter in training. "He's ready to go. He's got that enthusiasm," says Taekwondo Instructor Terry Kendrick.

And four year-old Blake Becton gets a kick out of something else--- genealogy.

Blake's parents frequently show him old family photographs, especially of his grandfather Becton, a grandfather Blake only knows from pictures and stories, because grandfather died years before Blake was born.

The four year-old has a deep love for balloons, helium filled ones often given to children at restaurants. An accident happened one day when the Becton's left a restaurant.

Somehow, a balloon got away from Blake, and his parents had to soothe the boy's disappointed feelings quickly. "We'll just send that one to your granddaddy in Heaven," said mom, Cynthia Beckton.

That immediately made a positive impression on Blake, who realized at his young age, that a balloon wasn't just a balloon. Each one becomes his personal, highflying messenger to a grandfather he never met.

Occasionally, he needs help since he doesn't know how to write, but his dad certainly does. Blake comes up with the message. "I want to send happy birthday," Blake says.

Dad writes it for him, but Blake often adds his touch. "Let me, let me do it," he protests. And, like he has done many times for the past two-and a-half years, he sends a balloon to granddaddy, watching it until it disappears from sight, but not out of mind of a special four-year-old.

Blake's grandfather would have been 83 Monday.

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posted at 1:05PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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