Updated: Sep 2, 2021
I turned 50 this year. That means I've survived four years longer on this planet than my father did. Dad never met either of my daughters.
Since the first grandchild came into my world six years ago, I've thought about my good fortune, about the precious time I've spent with my grandchildren so far, about how there are so many things I can teach them about life, nature, this place, our culture. I thought about what they would miss if I were to pass away while they were still too young to understand so much of it. I thought about, if that were to happen, how very little they would really know about me and how that lack of information might somewhat alter what they knew about themselves.
Sure, they'd have stories from their mom, aunt, grandmother, and other family members. They might run across people who knew me, and they might hear an anecdote here and there to get a general feel for the character of the man they knew as "Pa." But I worried that -- grateful as I'd be for those people who would keep my memory alive -- the experiences might ring hollow for my grandkids. This was basically how I felt after my dad passed away when I was 24. I've been so thankful for those stories about him. But I still feel like I never really knew him as anything but "Dad." And how could my daughters ever know him as anything but a collection of other people's ideas about who he was? He left no words of his own to help me or them understand who he was as a person.
So here's this book full of my words for my grandkids (and kids) that's here now -- even though I plan to stick around for a few more decades -- and long after I'm gone.
Most of the 211 pages are composed of previously published work, but there are a few originals in it as well. I'm also positive that it's full of typos and oversights, and I could have done a damn sight better with font selection, size, and such. But it's done, and I'm tired of messing with it. A book designer I am not.
I hadn't planned to actively market the book, but the publishing company I used automatically markets it to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and book stores across the globe. So I figured I might as well let folks know.