Write It Down!
-Fred Stock

              There is an old story which may be true, about a class in literature in a great institution in England - perhaps Oxford . It's really not important.  The students were gathering in a large lecture hall, awaiting their hero scheduled to speak to them about authorship. The class had been told to expect a great lesson in their chosen field, by the great author George Bernard Shaw. As the appointed time for the lecture approached the hushed whispers were everywhere heard, the great "G B Shaw" on his way, live and in person.

            Finally, the door to the hall opened and there he was, all they expected in fine suit and stately visage. He addressed the podium and commented, "Which of you want to be writers?" Every hand went up!  He spoke two words. "Then write!" and left! The entire address took less than thirty seconds, but the message was clear; write it down – just begin! Do it.

            For years I have been after "older people" in my world to record their thoughts in typed form, or tape cassette, or even in conversations with a note-taking family member. I have purchased at least one tape machine for our parents for that purpose, and begged our elder members to share their experiences with us. Most of that effort went unsatisfied. But now, "I are one," as they say. I have penned and spastically typed volumes about my young years and experiences. It was a different world even then. In my Dad's day different again, and in his parents', even greater. And now I want to take a moment of your time to recommend that to you. Write it down. It's not required that you have a degree in history or literature. You don't need an expensive typewriter or computer, or even a tape recorder. A paper and pen will do just fine. Your English is poor? So what? That may add flavor a “polished” writer could not create if he were to try! You have worthy thoughts and opinions! Share them! Please!!!

            I have had the blessing of the PDCC newspaper editors to publish my essays monthly, and the weekly papers nearby have carried a few, and a few times I was lucky enough to have some of my stuff published nationally way back when. Now I have this website and your eyes and thoughts for a moment. But writing your experiences in any form, tucking them in a family bible or a loose-leaf notebook is all that's needed. Rest assured, your meandering scrawls will be a treasure to those you leave behind, and might become a project of love in this lifetime as well! Can't write? Then talk. Save your experiences, wit and wisdom for your family and friends. Tapes are cheap! CD’s and DVD’s as well! Your grandchildren can set you up a “blog” if you use a computer. It’s all easy.

            Case in Point: Years ago I studied our local Native American cultures as part of my training for tour guide work. I discovered there is a huge gap in the knowledge of the ancestors in their tribal histories because they had no written records! There is just so much that can be transferred in songs and dances and chants. There is a limit to the authenticity of stories repeated over generations, perhaps translated through several languages, with terms and meanings lost or changed. It's a shame this exists, and many young American Indian scholars are capturing all they can from their grand parents memory before that is lost. Bravo! But YOU may be the source for YOUR family regardless of your heritage, your education, even your age! Don 't waste those hard won trophies of your life, those scars and medals and lessons we all have, each different than the others because no two of us are identical. Thank you Father!

            If you think this is ridiculous, ask your grandchildren or the neighbor lad if they'd like to read about your childhood, or business, or hobby. Many will say, "No, thank you!" – maybe even look at you strangely - but a few will suddenly sparkle with enthusiasm! You'll make a friend, and perhaps a difference! I dare you! Send me a copy too – I’d love to read your stuff! -fhs