Today is Monday Nov 27, 2017. I feel as if I've done a time warp from 2009, the date of the last entry in this blog! In 2010 I had another back surgery and got distracted. Since then I didn't feel any urge to write on the blog. However, recently I have begun an activity for which the blog may be useful, and a friend of mine suggested I use it.
A few weeks ago I got an interesting email from Donald Brandon, an old friend from my high school days. It was a very delightful short, short story based on some events in his youth. Several more followed, and I realized I was now on the mailing list of a good-sized group who have been enjoying Don's stories. I've been Facebook friends for a while with Don and his wife, Cathy, who also went to school with us. (I think she was one year behind me, if I recall correctly.) Don and Cathy are what is commonly referred to as "good people".
Don grew up in Sunnyside, a little community just outside Herrin, IL, which is where I grew up. He was a year head of me in high school, but I knew him mainly because I knew his cousin, Ralph, who was in my class.
From what I can gather, Don had a pretty typical Sunnyside childhood, within a large extended family. His older brother, Carl, was interested in raising chickens, which figured greatly into a couple of Don's stories.
Don became an attorney and stayed in the Herrin area. At some point after his retirement he began to write down short stories, mostly based on reminiscences from his childhood and youth. Perhaps he was looking for something to do, or maybe he was good at telling stories and someone suggested he write them down. Whatever the reason, Don tapped into his memories and began to write very short, often amusing stories. In time he shared them with friends via email, and eventually he put me on his list.
Because we grew up in the same area and went to high school together, quite a few of Don's memories were similar to my own. I knew or had known many of the people he wrote about, and many of the locales were familiar. I commented on each of his stories, and sometimes, when his story reminded me of an experience of my own, my comments turned into short stories themselves. Don gave encouragement in the form of praise and approval of my fledgling stories, and I realized there were a lot more where those came from, most about friends and family. My immediate family was small, just Mom and Dad and me and my brother, Tom. However, my dad had nine brothers and sisters, many of whom still lived in the Herrin area, and I had an enormous cadre of first and second cousins, some older than I, some younger. I knew I had enough grist to grind out dozens of stories.
And so I shall, "Lord willin ' and the creeks don't rise," as my Grandpa used to say. AND if I can get BlogSpot to cooperate.