It wasn't all bad
History comes alive at Chaparral Middle School in Diamond Bar, California, where Cornelis Greive, an 84-year-old grandfather, has spent more than 1,000 volunteer hours painting murals of Anne Frank, Amelia Earhart, and Albert Einstein.
"Cor has added a lot of color and really brightened up our campus," Principal Ron Thibodeaux said in a statement. "He's a gem." Greive, who started painting at Chaparral in August, has completed about 20 portraits, and typically finishes each piece in about two hours. He said his goal is to make students, staff, and parents proud of Chaparral, and his favorite paintings there are of Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman. "They have a lot in common," he said. "Both were denied higher education, but they stayed grounded. They never had any money but were always giving to others."
Greive's granddaughter Grace is a sixth grader at Chaparral, and he also painted several murals at her elementary school (Greive says in two years, he plans on taking his brushes and following her to Diamond Bar High School). "I enjoy it here at school," he said. "I'm painting the walls and they let me get away with it."