Old Boys

Despite the age difference of at least thirty years, I spent the afternoon today revisiting the stories and lore of some familiar names of neighbours brought to my attention by my old-timer visitor. We are both from this rural area, go to the same church and are amateur writers. Oh, and we both are dog people. These visits are spur of the moment and necessitate a good cup of hot tea to get off to start. Initially I had in my possession an old photograph of some local folks and was asking around for some information about trying to identify them so the picture could be displayed in the community centre along with other historical tributes to our past leaders. From these inquiries, word had reached my visitor and he has taken the task quite seriously to try to find out the identities of this large group by showing a copy of the photograph to all the other old timers and even some not so old timers.
It has become a history lesson of sorts as stories and memories are stirred once more. My personal interest in the story is because I know one of the handsome fellows in the circa 1920 photograph is my own grandfather. Grampa (that’s what I called him) was the only grandparent I knew and adored as a small child so having him in the picture is personally significant and a motivation for me to try to identify the other two dozen men in the very formal portrait.
As my old-timer friend reports back with his findings from his visits to nursing home residents and the local coffee shop seniors, some of the men are being identified but several are still men of mystery. The stories, memories and laughter that is shared during these visits over a good hot cup of tea are spontaneous neighbourly events even if we haven’t quite figured out who everyone is in the photograph yet. I think the old guys in the picture would appreciate that they are not forgotten completely but rather their legacies are in a state of renewal. I know my old grampa, Walter would approve.

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Filed under family relationships, friends, health and wellness, history, retirement, social issues, storytelling, writing

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