I recently completed editing my Great Grandfather’s book that was about his life as a railroad man in the early 1900’s. It was inspirational to read his words and be a part of something he started to write when he was 70 years old. Grandpop was 70 while he was writing his book and is now long dead. It is only now, in 2013 that his book is nearly ready to publish. As I sit to write my own book I wonder about his time writing. He wrote everything in longhand and then my Great Aunt would put the words to the typewriter. Correspondence was by snail mail so each leg of the writing was done over months rather than the minutes.
Today, we have spell check, auto correct, email, blogs, tweets, friends, and a plethora of other outlets. The overwhelming variety can be blissfully tiring.
The railroad business was mixed with brutality and bliss and he had a unique perspective as he was one of the builders who found the lay of the land and supervised the workers who laid the track. It had rainbows of color that are perfect for story writing. His detailed descriptions of the mundane brings his time on the railroad to life. He loved this work and it took him through hostile lands both here and abroad. He fought swamps and deserts, along with rebels and farmers. He went so far as to be a founding father of a small town just so a railroad station could be built there. He had moxsey.
Here’s to my Great Grandfather. I will dedicate my book to you. It will be done before I’m 70.
2 responses to “A Work in Progress”
Awesome. My father in law is writing a book, though he denies it, and he is 70 now. When he puts it off or puts it aside I say – “What do you want on your tombstone, ‘Here lies a man who wishes he wrote a book’ – ?
It’s advice I remind myself as well.
Back to you – How lovely you had the opportunity to do this, in a way, with your great grandfather. I hope you share with us when his book is ready, too.
Tender words as you finish this project. Please tell us what it’s called. I have a heart for the elderly, many of them are my best clients.