Today I was in the check-out line at Sam’s Club and watched a man holding a little boy talking to the elderly woman behind him.  Then he had the boy give her a high five, which was cute.  It also made me think of something my mother said when high fives were first getting started, “what will happen to shaking hands?”  She wasn’t against high fives, but she saw the writing on the wall as to the next generation of greetings.  Little boys were taught to politely shake hands when they met adults in the old days.

Then, the line being slow, my mind went to her lessons in manners.  And the music started in my head.  She had a record, a 78 rpm, called Manners Can Be Fun by Frank Luther.  I looked him up and he was a country singer, songwriter, etc, who gained a lot of fame with children’s records way back when.  The record was based on the book of the same title by Munro Leaf.  Anyway, this was one of my mother’s favorites and we sang it all the time.  She laughingly swore later that she played it for us in our sleep.  And I can still remember all the words the minute the music starts.

When I had my own children, I found the new version on 33 rpm, and played it for them.  I hope it sank in – I’m sure it did.  They all have good manners, although I’m not sure the parts about picking up their rooms was so effective as they grew up.


One of the most fun things I ever did for my mother was to dig out the record and send it off to have it made into a CD.  It must have been the original 78 because i couldn’t find anyone in town to do it at the time.  The man in California who transferred it for me was so entranced that he wrote me that he had made a copy for his kids.  I gave copies to my children for my grandchildren in hopes…

I played it for my 3 year old granddaughter in the car the other day and she seemed fascinated as I watched her in the rearview mirror.  Maybe it was the fact that I was singing along and knew all the words.  If I ever want her to know her great-grandmother, this is the perfect way to start.

Hope this link works so you can enjoy it, too.

Thank you!

01 Manners Can Be Fun