Reflections in the Time of Pandemic: The Sayles Family

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Bob Bass (c) 2021 all rights reserved

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If you have been on Fletcher Road in the past year, you’ve probably noticed the Joke of the Day. The Sayles family began writing a joke on a whiteboard outside each day when the pandemic began as a fun way for the kids to practice reading and writing. However, it soon became something more as it brought joy to the entire community. The family has decided to retire the tradition after one year, saying that putting out a joke “every day just [isn’t] sustainable, both because finding decent jokes [is] getting harder and some days the kids just [aren’t] engaged in the project”.

Although the project became more challenging after the first 100 days, it remained a special activity for both the kids and parents. They would spend about ten minutes each morning finding, explaining, and writing a new joke for the board. Even though ten minutes is such a short time, it is a special time as the family members “all have something to discuss together”.

The community on Fletcher and the surrounding roads was also impacted by the Joke of the Day project. The Sayles family received many comments from neighbors about how much they were enjoying reading the jokes. Others sent pictures of the board to share with their grandchildren or even switched up their walking route so that they passed the house. One of the biggest Joke of the Day fans, however, was a FedEx driver. When the family went to Cape Cod over the summer without writing a new joke, he was disappointed. They returned to a note that the driver loved reading the joke as he passed their house every day, as well as a two-dollar tip.

The Joke of the Day is ending, but it has left a positive impact and it will be missed. According to Thomas, the youngest of the Sayles children, “I’m really going to miss Joke of the Day. It was fun. We should do it again next year!”

Editor’s Note: Molly Gilarde is a member of the Bedford High School Class of 2021.


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