I’m a storyteller. Before I started telling stories on the internet, I told them to just about anybody who’d listen. In fact, I’ve been telling stories long before there ever was an internet. I know some of you younger folks weren’t aware that at one point there was no such thing as the internet…I’ll give you a second to grasp that thought. Okay, moving on. The Good Lord has blessed me throughout my life, not with fame or fortune, and my love life has been somewhat sketchy, but I’ve been richly blessed with plenty of adventures throughout my life. Most of them make a good story to tell…so I usually tell them.
Both of my grandfathers were witty and humorous men. My Grandpa on my mother’s side was a master story teller and I can remember all of us grandkids sitting around him as he puffed on his pipe, awaiting a story. He’d puff for a few minutes, ignoring us, until a twinkle would come into his eyes, then he’d lean forward and begin spinning a tale. We’d all sit, mesmerized, listening and absorbing every word, laughing till our tummies hurt. It’s what folks did back in the day before there was television. Well, of course, there was television when I was a kid. My grandparents didn’t have one. There was no need for one. We had Grandpa.
I believe storytelling is a dying art. Don’t believe me? How many really good movies have you seen this year? Right! There weren’t any! There apparently aren’t any more good stories to tell. Hollywood keeps going back and telling the same stories over and over. I watched some old Spiderman movie last week on Amazon Prime. Other than “Bad Grandpa,” it’s the only movie I came close to turning off fifteen minutes into the flick. Movies, television shows, and even the songs we hear today are more often than not empty, void of substance and leaving the majority of us less than entertained.
In random conversations I tend to get myself into with those who seem fascinated by my stories, I’ve often made this statement: Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a book that needs to be written. If more people just like you would tell their stories, the world would be a much more interesting place.
We leave everything to the professionals anymore. We have professional authors, professional songwriters, professional movie producers and they all stay so busy in their profession there is no time left to explore their creativity. It’s become just a job for them. I can’t imagine being a professional writer, depending on my productivity to pay my bills. There are some days I am very unproductive. Days go by with nary a single creative thought passing through my head. If my survival depended upon my ability to write eight hours a day, five days a week…I’d starve. Come to think of it, I’m pretty hungry right now.
I find it stressful to come up with a topic for this weekly blog. I call it a blog because it’s what those who do this call it. I think they’re just stories and I don’t know who coined the term. Personally, I think there surely was a better word that could have been instilled. Blog sounds like something you do in the bathroom, don’t you think? My weekly struggles are not due to lack of ideas or topics. I have plenty of those. It’s more due to a limited ability to toss out something that might possibly affect someone in my close network of friends and family. For this reason, most of the people in my close social circle have no clue I write. I think most of the folks who know me have serious doubts that I can write my own name. I like it that way. But as time passes, more and more of the people who know me best discover the truth. They usually don’t divulge their discovery to me, but I see them whispering to others, “Stay far, far away from that man! He’ll tell stories about you!”
One of my most favorite stories is that of a young man stepping across the threshold of adolescence into adulthood. Some might say it’s a true story. I say true or not, it’s a pretty good story. Beginning this week, my book “Nineteen Seventy Something” will be made available in paperback. I think you will find it entertaining, much more than anything Hollywood has made lately. I just ask one favor…keep it a secret! There may be a girl or two who might think I wrote about them! I promise you, it’s the one story your grandpa never told you! See more about “Nineteen Seventy Something” here!