Proverbs 10:7: The memory of the righteous is a blessing (ESV)
The thought came to me that people have lots of stories that have been their experience in family, in occupation or in general life around us. The idea that such could be captured in brief snippets, to be preserved for our families and friends, would be a worthy project to pursue.
I submitted an article to our local newspaper, the Wise County Messenger, advocating that people think about writing their histories in brief forms. It was my honor and pleasure that it was published.
Interest generated from comments received gave me the idea to initiate a writers’ club, so to say. Some comments had been words to the effect that they wanted sample stories as a pattern to help them imagine how to compose their own stories.
The solution was to propose a pattern of my creating a brief story, about once a quarter (4 times annually) to be sent to whatever list of people asked to be included in the subscription list. There would be no financial charges. My motivation was to encourage people to write for their families.
The proposal was circulated to several hundred friends and relatives, and about 100 have been on the regular distribution list since late 2014. Here is a brief description of the stories generated so far, and a link can take you to an online complete story. These are from three to 10 pages long, mostly shorter.
#1 The Black Tie & Boots Ball is a story about attending the 2005 U.S. Presidential Inauguration and social activities of President George W. Bush, one of our relatives! This event is sponsored by the Texas State Society of Washington D. C. Both Suzanne and I are annual members of it. My own Congressional Representative that year, Kay Granger (Former Mayor of Fort Worth), was President of the TSWDC that year. It has photos and an embarrassing story about my seeking to purchase tickets to the Ball! This story is about 10 pages.
#2 One Saturday morning, Ruth Graham (Billy’s wife) phoned me with a strange request about Corrie ten Boom! It was quite a treat. It’s three pages.
#3 Charles Wendell (“Chuck”) Colson, the high-level executive, the newly established position of the Director of the Office of Public Liaison, in President Richard M. Nixon’s Whitehouse staff. He served as Special Council to President Nixon (an attorney role).
On March 1, 1974, Colson was indicted for conspiring to cover up the Watergate burglaries. After days of negotiation with Watergate Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski and Watergate Trial Judge Gerhard Gesell, Colson pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice. Colson was convicted and served a prison sentence.
This is a story about his coming out of prison, having become a Christian, and the stumbling start the ministry he developed had where we were close to see it happen. It’s three pages.
#4 Meet Me in St. Louis is the story about backgrounds of Suzanne and me, leading up to our meeting, and our wild unplanned first date! It’s fourteen pages. It’s 17 pages
#5 Thomas Abney was Mayor of London. His friend, Isaac Watts, was a significant person in the world of Christianity in those days in the early 1700s. It’s three pages.
#6 Getting a Job in Dallas, looking in St. Louis. This is one of those mid-life times without a professional job where God’s Providential Hand manifests itself by taking you somewhere you didn’t expect, but where you really wanted to go! This man is the Rev. Dr. B. Clayton Bell, a brother-in-law of Evangelist Billy Graham. This story is four pages long.
#7 One way to know what you don’t know! This is about getting something in Israel you can’t read, but having what it says confirmed by an unbiased third-party in Florida! This story is three pages long.
#8 Making an Ash of One’s Self is the story of my quitting smoking on October 13, 1968 at 8:00 AM! It was kicked off by my co-worker, a Cuban immigrant! This story is two pages long.
#9 When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, my pastor (and my immediate supervisot on the staff of Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX) immediately begin plans to visit the site of the fallen Berlin Wall. He was there in December 1989. Later, in 1985, Suzanne and I were in the Choir Tour of HPPC to behind the Iron Curtin countries. This story tells of those experiences.
#10 Our son-in-law and daughter, Steve & Tiffany Westmoreland are raising five children. There was a time when they raised milk goats, and confusion fell when it was time to take the newly born kids to the local veternarian for their initial shots!
#11 Abraham Lincoln is, in some accounts, the most admired of our 45 United States Presidents. Of course, he is mentioned here because he is my 33rd cousin! This story is seven pages long.
#12 Suzanne and I have developed an exercize pattern that has good physical results and enhanced fellowship benefits as well!
This was an interesting twist of a couple we met, who turned out not to be what we initially assumed.
There was an occasion for me to be asked at the last minute to provide a commencement address for a high school graduation
This is the somewhat fun story about that occasion!
These are various newspaper articles I've published over the years:
Stories about the USS Fort Worth Navy Combat Ship
OTHER NEWSPAPER ARTICLES