Why did Lillian P at the age of 94 step into a car at the Ferris Wheel in Toys R Us? And her companions Barbara W, Teddy and Carol — what could have been on their minds as they slipped in beside Lillian? On the Ferris wheel in another car was Molly (she’s 92) with Bev, Tibby and Nydia. Nearby Jenny, Ann, Edith and Barbara H rode in a completely non-nonagenarian car.
As the the wheel began to turn the twelve riders unfurled their banners and sang John Lennon’s “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”
The Raging Grannies in the lobby joined the riders in song — all of us there to encourage shoppers to choose toys that can help children become productive, compassionate adults.
The Toys R Us employees handled the folks on the Ferris wheel with courtesy and restraint. They asked the peace riders to put their banners away and allowed them complete their turn on the Ferris wheel. The riders put the banners away while their cars were down near the Ferris wheel entrance and unfurled them again when the cars were up on high.
There were a lot of thumbs up signs and two young men who were working in the store taking photographs began singing with us. But there were some negative responses. One man called out “Buy your kid a gun.” When asked to say it again for the camera he refused. A woman said “They are terrorizing the kids,” but we didn’t see any kids who looked remotely terrorized — just curious. I am heartsick that someone could attach the word terrorize to this action. Twelve people held signs saying “War is Not a Game” and No More War Toys.” Another dozen or so joined in quietly singing, “Give peace a chance.”
In peace always,
– Eva-Lee Baird
for the Granny Peace Brigade
All Photos by Masahiro Hosoda