Last week, I had coffee with someone who knows my current town well, having lived there for decades. We talked about the town’s history and she mentioned some people that I should get to know. To her, it’s important that the history they know gets preserved before it is lost forever.
I understand that and empathize with her. There is an African proverb that says, “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” (Yep, it applies to women too.)
I bet these local people are real characters. It would be fun to write a book about their memories, if someone hasn’t done that already.
Someone asked me on Thanksgiving Day if I’d ever contemplated writing a book. A church friend of mine who reads my posts suggested that I should convert my blog posts into a book.
Sometimes I’ve fantasized about writing a book set in a certain period of history such as the Civil War, the Regency era or World War II. Doing the research for that one would be tremendous entertainment.
If I ever did write a book, I’d definitely pick some characters from my hometown. There is one homeless man that I keep seeing at the library using one of their computers. He always seems to sit at the same place and he has a noble-looking face that reminds me of Morgan Freeman.
Another character would be some of the people I talk with at my local farmer’s market. One of them is a jewelry maker and the other is a husband-and-wife couple who are incredible bakers. I chat with all of them whenever I make it to the market.
There’s a woman at my church who would be a great character. She is a devout fan of the Washington Redskins (!) and has gone to their games for 50 years. (Yes, you read that right. I said 50 YEARS.)
My family would make some good characters too. There are some stories that have been passed down about my older relatives over the years. According to my sib, one of my Civil War era relatives once sold a horse to a man and was straight with him about the qualities that the horse possessed. Later on, the buyer came back and gave my relative some extra money for his honesty.
One great-uncle fought during D-Day. He landed on a beach in France (I think it was Omaha) at night and managed to survive it. He picked up a seashell to remember it and recorded some info about the battle inside the shell. We still have it.
I had the chance to hold my newest cousin on Thanksgiving Day. She’s three months old and just entering the story of her new life, and I hope it turns out to be a good one.
There are stories in everyone as they progress through their lives. How many stories have been lost before they were recorded, I wonder?
As a blogger, I’m constantly fascinated by the stories that other people relate in their own personal or business blogs and how they filter those experiences through their own viewpoints and life experiences.
Readers: Do you know someone who would be a great character for a book? Let’s talk about it.