My favorite “land” was the Land of Make Believe, but we do have to live in the Real Land, at least some of the time (she says as she finishes taxes) . . .    (photo Larry, Dave, Bill, and me, Mary)


My father’s stories enriched our childhood, settling us down for a good night’s sleep, and helping with troubles and lessons.  When we got older, Dad stopped telling, but started writing down his stories, and when I got old enough to take typing lessons, he bought me a typewriter and had me practice by typing up his stories . . . and so they were saved.  This is his introduction to his stories.



The Many Lands of Childhood  by “Daddy” John Fussner


We all live on the planet Earth.  Earth has many lands, as you can see on a map or globe of the Earth.  We each live on one of the land masses.

Childhood also has more than one land to live in.  First is your home, on your street or road, in your town or way out in the country.

The second land of your childhood belongs to God.  It has the church,  Sunday school, church picnics and lots of fun things to do.  In the land of God we learn how to live a good life and to love our fellow man.

The third land of childhood is dreamland.   Dreamland is where we go when we go to sleep.  Some people say that the sand man is the keeper of the gates of dreamland, and when we enter, he puts a grain of and in our eyes.  It could be true because often when we awake we feel what feels like sand in the corners of our eyes.  When we remove it, it looks like sand.  So who knows?  We do know if we are good boys and girls and love and mind our Daddy and Mommy, we will have pleasant dreams.

The fourth land of childhood is the land of make believe.  It is somewhat like dreamland, but we visit it without going to sleep.  Lying on the grass on a warm summer day, watching the clouds and seeing all kinds of things, such as ships, white whales, dragons, and far too many things to name is a trip to the land of make believe that most boys and girls enjoy quite often.  Where is the land of make believe?  It’s just over the next hill.  If you go over that hill, it’s just over the next one; so you can’t really go there.

One thing we must be very careful of is not to get the two lands mixed up.  Our real land is a good place to live, with Mommy, Daddy, our school teachers, our Sunday school teachers, all our aunts and uncles, and our many playmates.  We don’t want to be thinking we are in the land of make believe when we should be in our home land, doing school work or our chores around the house, or sitting and talking about real life.  You can visit dreamland and the land of make believe, but you must live in your home land and do and learn real things.  In real life you must keep up with father time and learn day by day your school work.  If you cannot do one day’s work today, how can you do two days’ work tomorrow?

With that thought in mind, we will go visit dreamland, and maybe the sandman will give us the answer.


More of Dad’s stories at



Mom, Dad, Donna



4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alex Hurst
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 00:23:46

    That is a very sweet post. It must have been so nostalgic for you to write this down. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Alex Hurst, fantasy author in Japan, participating in Blogging A-Z April Challenge.


  2. mary grace ketner
    Apr 03, 2014 @ 08:23:43

    Mary, I think my son, whom I’ve mentioned on storytell the last couple of days, would appreciate your dad’s view that “w must be very careful not to get the two lands mixed up.”
    From this as well as from other things you have posted about your dad, it is clear that, along with his gentle wisdom, he was very sensitive to the way a child views the world and the support a child needs to feel confident in the world.


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