Blog 2088 – 06.13.2021
I’ve Said It Before And Will Say I Again
My dad was a great story teller and he grew up in the Deep South during the Great Depression where story telling and listening to stories was the one source of entertainment available to even poor people whatever, their color, creed, or political persuasion. As a boy all my buddies loved to hear my daddy’s tall tales. I had heard them so many times that I knew them all by heart which was I see now the whole point. My dad gave everyone he met his very best and he always kept his wonderful stories at the ready to share again and again.
Someone has said there are only a few true story plots and that all stories are just slight variations on those several themes. In these now more than two thousand blogs I have repeated myself more than once and will again, I am sure. The point of all my stories and blogs is a singular three pronged one as was my dear Ole dad’s goal in his story telling. He wished to entertain, enlighten, and encourage. Much as I have tried to be different from my loud, repetitive, and often opinionated father I find myself, nearing the age he was when his story ended, cut from the very same cloth.
Young people think we older folks suffer from some Ancient Mariner like curse. Do people still read and retell that wonderful story by Samuel Taylor Coleridge about a sailor who once’s shot an albatross, the sailor’s symbol of good luck, and doomed his entire crew to death and himself to a curse compulsion to tell and retell his tragic story to everyone he met for the rest of his life? The epic poem is called The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Lest anyone think this tragic tale has no encouraging word, it is the very same as some advice from my dad that still rings in my head and heart these more than fifty years since I first hear him give it : “Son, you don’t have to make all of the mistakes. You can learn from a few of mine if you just will.”
I recall that as a stubborn and determined nineteen year old, I smiling replied, “Dad you learned from all your mistakes, let me learn from mine.”
Dad was so much wiser and so much more loving than I realized at the time. His stories were all tailor made to teach a lesson the easy way, the smart way – second, and third hand. That is the heritage more than any other treasure that parents and grandparents wish to pass on to their heirs. No and not just their own hard learned lessons, but even more those that they were wise enough to learn from their parent’s, other family’s, and friend’s mistakes, even those of strangers.
This advice like so many well-told stories bears repeating: “You and I do not have to make all of the mistakes. We can learn from others, if we just will.”
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Fool Hearted Memory