I’m in the midst of typesettin’ two more of my grandfather’s Western Tales. Yesterday I caught myself readin’ instead of movin’ fast, flowin’ type, applyin’ style sheets, and fixin’ up his wonderful words for bein’ self published and bound into yet another family and friends book. Perhaps his last, as at 97, we know his body is wearin’ out.
Certain phrases and plot twist moments, keep jumping off my computer screen as I work, that make me grin and guffaw. Then there are others that make my heart squeeze in empathy.
The line of dialogue speaking to me right now is after the sheriff received a letter from concerned parents, asking after their hastily married off daughter who was sent away, “in trouble.” Instead of replying that she’d had her baby, and a few days later her worthless, no good varmint, rat of a husband was dead – murdered – Sheriff Wells simply said where they could reach their daughter. His mentor, John Wade, replied after readin’ the communique in progress, “Good shot. Let her tell her own story.”
Indeed. Yes. The other bit of advice I keep readin’ is to keep your head up high, no matter what the circumstances in your life. Lots of horse talk too. How I love that!
I’m completely charmed by my grandfather’s writing. Stories. Songs. Poetry. I have been since childhood. It’s more poignant now. Readin’ with a woman’s heart.
He’s a marvel. Still alive and kickin’, atop a bluff overlookin’ the mighty Mississippi River where he’s lived since he was nine months old, other than those years he was needed to serve his country in WWII. He began writing stories while recovering from night patrol injuries in a hospital in England. The Red Cross gave him paper. He mailed the stories home. All because he’d read everything he could get his hands on, and figured he could do as well or better. Once he started writing, he never stopped. That is a lesson for me, and all the aspiring authors I know. Writers write. A lot.
~ Janean Marie Thompson Baird
April 10, 2013
Quote from, “The Invincible Three” by Erwin A. Thompson.