After a week of rain last week, we are finally due for a drying out, thanks be to God. I'm tired of growing mushrooms in the front yard, and having to dry Lola off every time I take her to walk. She doesn't mind it - as soon as she sees me coming with a towel she rolls over..
I wrote a fairly long article about my grandfather [the baseball player] for Georgia Backroads magazine, and it should be available to purchase within the next week. My article is called Season of Ashes. I am really excited about this because I started researching and writing a screenplay based on his baseball career more than twenty years ago, and it's a story that deserves to be told, and told right. He basically lost his major-league baseball career because of prejudice.
I like Georgia Backroads because it brings to light stories about Georgia History from a very human perspective. I live in a huge state, a very diverse place, bigger than many European countries. There have been settlers here for more than 300 years. Lots of stories. Lots of history.
I have always been fascinated by history and how big events impact the lives of ordinary people. I've pestered my mother countless times to tell me stories of what it was like to live through the Depression, World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, etc. She is a great storyteller and has always been great about sharing stories with me. I could never have written Season of Ashes [the screenplay] without her help.
I just finished a book called The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah and it's a fascinating story, parallel stories really, about a family in Washington State and the mother in the family is a Russian refugee who suffered trauma during World War II. I think Hannah took a little too much time getting into the mother's story - I would've edited that manuscript differently - but it's still a great read.
I loved Hannah's book The Nightingale, about women in the French Resistance in World War II. I have long been fascinated by tales of how ordinary people were affected by that war.
I feel so strongly that parents should preserve their stories for their children. My dad was a wonderful storyteller but we have no movies of him telling stories. The only time he ever recorded anything it was about the bank where he worked. I listened to part of one of those old cassettes recently, and it was great to hear his voice but the subject matter was dull..
There is a local company that preserves stories, Quail Pointe Publishing. I would love to work for them. They do exactly what I would love to do, interview people and help them preserve family stories.
History is so much more interesting when told from a personal point of view.