On the road…again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
Legacy Stories Get Remembered Best When They Are Recorded First
When asked by the Co-Founder of LegacyStories.org to compile a list of the legacy stories we had submitted in 2013, some of the regular contributors and visitors to that website may have been taken aback, for various reasons. To some it may have been a non-starter because there may have been too few stories to make up a prioritized list; to others it may have been a challenge that they might not relish because it required them to go beyond their normal modus operandi to make a presumptuous and prioritized list, based upon the writers' own ranking of relative importance of their contributed stories. It was asking those writers to be the sole judge of the relative merits of their own stories, themselves; and to then assign them to a priority list.
As a person who admits to be self-effacing, it is most distressing to be asked to commit myself in a deliberate exercise in calling for self-promotion when I know that it is the reader, not me, that decides on the merits of my contributed works. Speaking only for myself, I choose to write often and about various things because it is an effective way of recording circumstances about people, places, and events as I have known or interpreted them. Writing, then posting those stories, is my way of sharing with others. If the potential reader chooses to discard the material, it would not be the first time in my life that my correspondence has been ignored or outright rejected. Thus, people like me continue to write in the hopes that not everyone will be indifferent to the content. In the final analysis, we are judged by others; and our own opinions are not fungible.
Over the past few years I have attempted to share some glimpses of my legacy with other members of my family; and in doing so, try to present the material through the eyes of an observer—The Footloose Forester. The observer wants the reader(s) to know that the stories, the places, the people, and the circumstances were real, but the stories are about the observations, not the chronicler who calls himself The Footloose Forester. And he also wants the reader(s) to know that the person writing the Chronicles of A Footloose Forester was not the Great I Am; nor the Great I Was. The Footloose Forester was just there, on hand to witness the magic of nature in places far and wide, one who had chance encounters with luminaries like John F. Kennedy and Nelson Mandela; and is a sensitive soul who was touched with thoughts of death and dying; even among people who were not members of his own family. But such events are time stamped in history and we owe it to somebody to share our and their memories. Somebody has to be the keeper...and willing to share those memories. But don’t expect anyone to tap you on the shoulder and tell you that it is your job to be the legacy writer, and then proceed to tell you how to do it. Everyone alive will leave a legacy; and everyone who passed on...already did.
How do you want to be remembered? What would you share with your grand children before you pass on? If you tell them a story or two, will they listen?...But if you do tell them a story or two, they will remember.
Today you are living the story that tomorrow might be part of your legacy. Let others decide whether your life story was worth telling or repeating; but if you don’t provide the raw material for your legacy, all but a very few famous persons, with the aid of biographers, will have little or nothing that will endure beyond our lifetimes. So, if not you, who? If not now, when?
Thus, very reluctantly, the would-be teller of tales who calls himself The Footloose Forester does fervently hope that interested readers might find something worthwhile in a few of the 65 stories that he posted in 2013. Since he normally writes in the “stream of consciousness mode” to kick-start his stories, there was never a conscious effort to meet a goal by writing with only certain themes in mind. Nonetheless, a few distinct themes can be deduced in the list below. These, then; are his 2013 personal favorites because they are his personal memories, as follows:
REMEMBERING THE DISTANT PAST
1) My Best Christmas Present, Ever
2) Haunting Memories Of Wars Past
3) Heroes We Have Known
4) Looking Back With Mixed Emotions And Memories
5) Nostalgia Is Easier To Do These Days
7) We May Never Meet Again
PEOPLE WHO TOUCHED OUR LIVES
1) Duty Roster
2) Escape From Laos
3) Tiger Dao’s Burial
4) These Stones Will Never Wilt
5) Gifts Of Finest Wine
6) France Revisited
REMEMBERING THE WORKING YEARS
1) Fish Bait Or Shark Bait?
2) Working As A Career
3) Sleeping In Graveyards
4) Bath Time…On the road…again!
5) On The Ground…again!
1) Five Principles To Live By
2) Five Things That Never Shook Loose From My Core Beliefs
About the author
I appreciate your point of view, and believe it has a great deal of merit. One of the great things that come out of such a method requires one to be move observant. In this development along, one comes up with feelings, experiences, and values that can and should be pass on. Thanks,
The value of the written record is often useful in settling arguments or in correcting the timeframe of certain events. My spouse and I disagreed about the date of death of her favorite aunt, who passed away in Switzerland in late 2013. My beloved wife remembers the passing as a few days after we returned from Europe in early November. In the chronicle entitled "Five Languages at Lunch" I appended a comment shortly after her passing on 2 December 2013, although the original chronicle was postmarked as written at that time; and this notation about the disagreement took place on 13 August 2016. Legacy stories are best remembered when they are recorded accurately.
The chronicle with an appended note about the passing of Ba Xuan was "Duty Roster", not "Five Languages at Lunch" as noted above. Her family gave her passing as 2 December 2013.