Like most folks, I dearly love family stories, and I’ve heard a lot of them, both about my own family and about others as well. And like most folks, over the years I’ve completely failed to write those stories down, and with the passage of time, it’s simply too late to do anything about that now. Because back when we are younger, we simply assume that our parents will live forever, that our aunts and great-aunts will do the same, that our dearest friends will still be around and we can go back to them and get those stories again but this time, write them down.
There are so many times when I can remember sitting with my mother and her telling funny stories about what a rascal she was growing up and how she mischievously dealt with a very severe father whom she loved but didn’t always know what to do with. Or my quiet, rather shy father would tell stories about his adventures and what life was like for him growing up. Or my Great-Aunt Pearl would tell stories about knowing bootleggers back in the days of Prohibition, and even giving an impression of sort of sanctioning such behavior herself, although the strongest thing she ever drank was tea but on the other hand she didn’t much like the government telling folks what to do.
One such story I do so wish I had details of concerns my dear late friend J. and the fact that when she was a young married back in the forties, and living on the near south side of Fort Worth, Texas, she actually babysat Lee Harvey Oswald, and remembered him as a nice young child. On the other hand, even though J. was very kind and tactful, she didn’t have many good things to say about Lee Harvey’s mother. That’s really all I can remember of a conversation that happened a long time ago.
That’s just about it for this collection of thoughts, except for this. The next time someone, anyone, shares something interesting about their life, listen. Listen really well.