Olga Olive: The Backstory

Jul 16, 2019 by Meryl S. Brown | Author


 

 

Olga Olive: The Backstory

     Olga Olive and Candace Coconut became friends in third grade, soon after Olga and her family moved from Greece. Before assigning Olga a seat, Mrs. Wilma Watermelon, the third grade teacher, researched which of her class members lived closest to her newest student. She joyfully learned that her brightest and kindest pupil, Candace, lived just four doors from Olga’s home on Avenue H. By seating Olga next to Candace, Olga’s comfort was guaranteed, both in the classroom and in the community of Fruitland. 

     Fortunately, Olga had learned English in Greece, although she was a bit challenged when studying idioms. That’s where living close to Candace became so helpful. One Saturday afternoon, Olga felt overwhelmed while doing some of her homework. She couldn’t understand what “crack a book” and “draw a blank” could possibly mean. The words by themselves made complete sense. Yet, in the group, (which she learned was labeled an idiom) they completely confused her. With her mom’s permission, Olga walked to the Coconuts’ home.

     Candace visibly demonstrated the meaning of “crack a book” as she opened a book to simulate studying for a test in math. Olga giggled as the literal word “crack” took on new meaning. Candace continued to explain how “draw a blank” was not about drawing pictures. Sometimes, people just don’t recall certain ideas, concepts, or even names of people or places. Another clear explanation! After thanking Candace, Olga walked home realizing that Mrs. Watermelon had given her a very special gift: a caring friend.

     As Olga grew older, she continued to cherish Candace’s friendship. When they entered high school, they often ate at The Olive Café, Olga’s uncle’s very popular restaurant. That’s where Olga and Candace often planned their weekend and summer activities.