Now and Then ...
Article Author: Ben Harris McClary
A Legacy of Memories
An acquaintance recently berated me, declaring “You are always telling people they should get busy and write their memories [as the late Margaret Poe Trotter did so nicely], but when are you going to write yours!”
“Well,” I protested, “I thought I had!”
I thought that was what I had done in more than a hundred pieces in the POLK COUNTY NEWS, 3 January through 31 July, 1996. I began that writing project with a carefully planned series of twenty-six articles covering what I consider the major aspects of my life as I recalled it in Benton, 1931 into the 1950s. The title of the series was “Never Far Away,” indicating that wherever I had gone and whatever I had done between the 1950s and 1990s, my memories kept my growing-up years close to my heart.
Then, in this century, still alive(!), in a nostalgic moment, I began “Now and Then,” in which—over a period of three or four years—following the ups and downs of my life, I ruminated on the past and present. It is true that I occasionally have stray thoughts and memories that could contribute to a more extensive personal memoir, but short of being hypnotized and spirited back into mid-century Polk County I don’t think I could come up with much more significant content.
Since “Never Far Away” now seems so far away, during the next few months I plan to revisit that series, revising and bringing up-to-date certain items when needed. This project should take up most of 2013, for I expect to intersperse fresh columns of immediate interest when appropriate.
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