On the road…again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
Street Corner in Montmartre*
Le Consulat Restaurant, as it looked in 1963
If it is generally true, as it seems to be, that the older we get, the more we reminisce about the past; then those of us that want to share some of that past with our families should take advantage of the tools that make story telling easier. With word processors that check our spelling and allow us to back up to insert the better word; that allow us to slip in old photos of the "growing up" days; even to put audio and video within the story….well what more could you ask for? It’s time to get busy; that is, if you care enough to share with others as you would have them share with you.
You don’t have to be an accomplished writer, or photographer, or an expert with video recorders or cell phones that have those capabilities. Ask a family member to help you and chances are the young, technology savvy ones will be happy to make it into a project—a legacy project. They will also learn along the way; and chances are that someday they, themselves, will have legacy portfolios that include text, travel photos, oral histories and panoramic videos that show the sweep of landscapes and the antics of pets in action.
As quoted in Faust, Prologue for the Theatre by John Anster: “Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute! Boldness has genius, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin, and then the work will be completed.”
· * The photo above of a street scene in the Montmartre district of Paris brings back memories of the time when the Footloose Forester was a GI stationed at Fliegerhorst Kaserne in Langendebach, Germany and his now deceased brother Joe was an airman stationed at Lakenheath Air Force Base in England. We spent a few days slumming on the Left Bank of Paris, like many a traveler on a tight budget. Although our time together was almost 50 years ago, the memories are timeless. And the restaurant Le Consulat is still there, looking pretty much the same now as it did then.
Airman Joe Pellek, and one of my heroes is now, with this photo legacy, a part of family history.
With the inspirational book, "The Best of Success" at his side, the Footloose Forester took its advice and proceeded with this short legacy story. The advice on overcoming inertia by Davis Viscott led off with...."If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed." And another movitator by Ronald Alan Weiss suggested, "Once you're moving, you can keep moving."
About the author
Assigning 9 tags to this story is a clue that, to this writer of legacy stories, at least; having the story with photos is a gift that can be shared among various intrest groups. The 9 tags is not an attempt at saturation bombing; they indicate that even short stories can have emotional value that trandscends a pre-determined subject category.
Upon re-reading this story some 5 years after it was published, it brought tears to my eyes. The tears had nothing to do with the words in the story, they had to do with the memory that was captured for eternity. Joe Pellek was a saint, and everybody who knew him also knows that he was very, very special.