My Mom and Dad just left the other day to head back to Richmond after a visit. As Mom backed the car out of the driveway I noted that she could barely see over the steering wheel and had to use all the mirrors since twisting to look over her shoulder would be too painful. Dad, in the right seat, snapped me a salute as they drove away.
I began to reflect on my parents who have always been constants in my life. When I could barely walk, Dad began dragging me to battlefields near our house in Richmond. He instilled in me a love of history and he infected me with the Civil War-flu that I am unable to shake, to the chagrin of my kids. The kids know that when the car gets near a battlefield or a Civil War museum then I am going to Bataan Death March everybody down a hot, bug-infested trail in search of some historic marker or into the halls of some dank smelling artifact hall. Guilty as charged.
My Mom, never liked tramping around battlefields, but she has always loved to read. I caught her reading bug at a young age and I fondly recall taking trips with her to the Belmont Avenue Public Library to pick up a stack of new reads. After I graduated from Collegiate [HS] in the late 1970s she soon took a job as a librarian there. What a great job for a book lover and she stayed there for about thirty-two years. One of her favorite students was the always kind and courteous Russell Wilson [#3] who is now the star-quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks.
As I look at our country and I guess the world today, I am somewhat saddened by the disconnect that some young folks have with history and even books. There is a pervasive distance that progressive technology has placed between many of today’s students and libraries. Our daughter loves to read but our son is a different story. He would much rather look at a screen and immerse himself in any kind of video game. It is of course an escape from reality and I guess that my love of books, both fiction and non-fiction, is my escape too.
Thanks Mom & Dad for instilling in me your favorite gifts! Even though I know how to do a Google Search and I have a Face Book page, I also know how to use the library’s card catalog.
[Image above – I am w/ my parents at Bavarian Inn, Shepherdstown WV. Image below is my Dad on steps of Dunker Church, Sharpsburg MD at Antietam National Battlefield]