Owen’s 7th Birthday
Gifts from Famous People

On July 1, Owen had his 7th birthday and ten days later Jack had his birthday. Therefore, several years ago, I got the idea of adding to their gifts a letter from a famous person about the gift that the person gave to Owen and Jack. That famous person would give a gift related to that person’s interests along with a letter containing the person’s photo. Additionally, the signed letter provided some advice for Owen as he was growing up. Along with some books, Owen got a letter from Henryk Magnuski, Dr. Patsy Sherman, and Diplodocus. In addition, he got a couple of books and a construction toy.

This is Henryk Magnuski’s letter and gift to Owen. Magnuski immigrated from Poland to the US where he invented a lot of things. In fact, he designed walkie talkies. Can you guess what he gave Owen as a gift?

July 2019


I am Henryk Magnuski. I was born in Poland but came to America. Your grandfather tells me you are fun to be around. Therefore, I told him that I would give you and your brother one of my inventions, a walkie talkie, for your birthday. I helped invent and prefect walkie-talkies many years ago. Below is a picture of me and the other one is of a soldier in WWII using one of my walkie-talkies.

Henryk Magnuski

Your grandfather claims that yellow is your favorite color. What color do you think your walkie talkie is? Your gift will be nicer than the big and bulky ones used during WWII. You and Jack will have fun with them.

I hope that your birthday will be fun and that you get a lot of gifts.

Happy Birthday,

Dr. Patsy Sherman is a famous American chemist. In her letter, she explained to Owen about learning from strange and serendipitous moments. Dr. Sherman wanted to have Owen understand that advice as he journeys down his yellow brick road of life.

July 2019


Your grandfather talks all the time about you and Jack. He calls you, Peg Leg. He was kidding you about being a pirate when you grew up. Now, if you really want to be one, you decide. However, I have a better idea. Think about being a chemist.

When I was in high school, I took a test to determine a job best for me. The test was for girls my age. The results were that I would be best suited to be a housewife. I told the school that I wanted to take the test given to the boys. When that came back, the test said that I would be good at being a dentist or scientist. I chose being a scientist.

Patsy Sherman

I wrote this quote some time ago, “You can encourage and teach young people to observe, to ask questions when unexpected things happen. You can teach yourself not to ignore the unanticipated.”

When I was working in the lab at 3M, someone spilled something on my shoes. We tried for hours to remove it and couldn’t. Then I got the idea of using something like that as a water repellent, and I created it. 3M named my discovery, Scotchgard.

I am giving you a beginner’s chemistry set for your birthday. Be careful, but always think and wonder.

Best wishes,

In Diplodocus’s letter, he enclosed a photo of himself, a description of his huge size, and his advice to Owen about standing tall and looking around before making hasty decisions in life.

July 2019


I was walking around Crown Point the other day and ran into your papa. He kept talking about you and your brother. He also mentioned that your birthdays were at the beginning of the month.

Allow me to introduce myself. My scientific name is Diplodocus. You can call me Dippy. Paleontologists gave me my official name, which comes from Greek meaning double beam. The double beam refers to the plates that are under my tail. It acts as a support for my tail, which runs around 45 feet long. Also, my neck is 26 feet long. However, look how long I am. I am about 110 feet long.


On your birthday, I am giving you some toy dinosaurs with which you can play. However, I want you to stand tall and look at everything before you decide something. With my long neck, I could see a great deal, which helps me to decide what needs to be done.

Well, Happy Birthday Owen and many more. Hey, I have had 145 million birthdays. That’s a little less than the number of papa’s birthdays.

Take care,

Birthdays are a time to celebrate and to learn.