There are so many writing websites about writing already. I contemplated doing one on simple mistakes many writers make. Like using the wrong word such as literally and figuratively. But I know others are doing it and I wondered how likely it would be that I mustered the effort to always find these tidbits.
Then, by chance, doing a first read for a wonderful author and all around great guy as well as recent blog I found fun, I finally settled somewhere. Since much of my work deals with a time in the past, from 30 years to 800 or 900 years ago, I thought it might be inspiring to trek through the old days, no matter how distant. For the most part, it will be a delightful trip of a few decades, when times were simpler, when kids had less and appreciated what they had more. It was a time when marriages lasted, not always because they were perfect but because we believed in working at making it the best we could. They were not always the 'good' old days however, not everything was perfect, times were harder, we didn't know all we know today, but we were leaner because we didn't have access to a constant supply of DingDongs and Coke. We were tougher in mind and body because we had to work for things we wanted, families didn't have enough spare to indulge their kids, and we expected things to go wrong so mentally we adapted to the unfortunate incidents that occurred. We learned more because no computer could substitute our efforts; we gave more respect because no one video taped our misdeeds to laugh over, they just warmed out bottoms to remind us not to repeat said transgression.
Life has ever evolved and the old have always bemoaned the changes. Even so, its fun, and comforting to recall another time. And for those under 50 or 60, it might prove to be somewhat enlightening. Maybe the youngsters can pick up pointers, or understand stories before cell phones and computers a little easier. The one thing I hope everyone gets out of it is a little enjoyment and amusement. So an introduction.
The above picture is of the world's oldest, most traveled pony. I say that because I know that over forty years before this picture was taken, my mother had her picture taken on a pony that looked almost exactly the same. And if you ask people around 60 years old and up, and if they lived in a town or city, you'll probably find that they too recall the little paint pony being led around by a kindly old man, who also toted his trusty camera and tripod. He didn't need much more advertising than the pony. The kids managed to find the placid little animal, maybe by sense of smell for all I know. He helped all the kids up on the little animal, dressed them with the chaps, vest and cowboy hat, whether your parents bought the pictures or not. It was good PR work, and even better, it made kids happy for a few moments, even if their parents were unable to spare the needed money for the pictures. There were no instant pictures, no digital shots to send out over all the social media sites, you didn't do selfies on the pony. You placed your trust and payment in a stranger because that was the way the world was. So if he charged a dollar for every four by six or two fifty for an eight by ten, you gave him your cash and he wrote you address on a little card. A week or two later, there would arrive in the mail, a big envelope and your trust was fulfilled. For a little extra cash, your children had a lifelong memory of the day the little pony came to your neighborhood.
I like trusting others even if its harder to do these days. I miss the time when honesty was the expectation rather than the exception. More than that, I feel bad for kids who don't have the opportunity any longer to have their pictures on the little paint pony.
Anyone want to take a guess which one is me? The other is my best friend, who also happens to be my sister. We may have been complete opposites, but we still knew we would always be there for one another. So far, we've done a good job that, even five decades after this was taken.