You Rush a Miracle Man, You Get Rotten Miracles

I don’t think either one of my grandfathers ever watched The Princess Bride but man oh man do I wish they had.

There is no special reason behind that other than I think they would have enjoyed it. More importantly when I said things like “Inconceivable” and “I hate waiting. I could give you my word as a Spaniard” they would have smiled and played along.

Sadly we couldn’t do that with too many movies, believe me I tried. I once said, “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses” but no one responded with “hit it.”

Granted they both suggested that at some point in my life I should make a point to live in Chicago. It was where they spent their childhoods and where much of my family still lives. I promised that I would do something about that one day and most of the time I am pretty good about my promises.

Been thinking about my grandparents for obvious reasons and not just because of the unveiling. It still hasn’t completely sunk in that they are all gone now and that every generation has moved up a notch.

It sounds kind of silly, but I sort of think of them as being on vacation.

The Cemetery is About Life

If you watched my vlog you heard a couple of moments me talking about the cemetery and how quiet it was. I don’t mind quiet. I am comfortable in silence but there are moments where I want to hear something, where I want sounds of life.

The cemetery brings that out of me sometimes. It is not because I am scared or uncomfortable, but because it feels like there are a million people lying around me and everyone of them has a story to tell.

I am interested in people and that includes the dead. They have stories and as someone who loves a good tale it is hard not to be able to hear them told. So sometimes I wander around and read the tombstones and imagine what their lives might have been like.

I look at the dates of their birth and their death and think about how in some ways it doesn’t matter when they were born, they weren’t much different than us. It doesn’t matter if they are a hundred or a thousand years older than we are, they still had many of the same basic desires.

They wanted a good life. They wanted companionship. They wanted friends. They wanted family. They wanted to love and be loved.

If there were differences between them and us some of them might have been in the details, but not the big stuff.

The Big Stuff Never Changes

If you are a curmudgeon like I am you might be persnickety about that last subhead. You might say that times and technology have impacted people and our desires.

I suppose there might be some truth to it but I am still willing to argue that people always wanted companionship, that they wanted to be in love and to be loved. Read the books of the past and see what they talked about and you’ll see that some things never change.

It is why you find that certain slogans are good for business no matter what time period we live in. It is why businesses work so very hard on telling their stories because humans love stories. We love storytellers.

My grandfathers were among the best storytellers I knew. It is part of why they were good salesmen. They knew how to listen and they knew how to speak.

It is too bad they aren’t still here. It would be nice to have an MLT sandwich with them and to catch up. They’d tell me stories about what they are doing now and describe the bosses they had when 50 years ago.

Inevitably I’d listen to a tale that confirmed that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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  1. richescorner July 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    One of my favorite movies of all time and my favorite Billy Crystal role.  The Princess Bride is a great example of story telling at its best.  I love that a single line from that movie can evoke the memory of the moment so clearly.  That’s when you know you’ve told a great story.

  2. bdorman264 July 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Back in the day when my grandmother’s house was a focal point and all her children would assemble for the holidays; there were some great stories to be told and to learn from. It was always fun to hear about when my dad was a child and some of the mischief they would get into. 
    Maybe some of the story telling is being carried over in the blogs but I do know I never tire of hearing a ‘good story.’ Timeless………..

    • TheJackB July 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

       @bdorman264 A good story is a a treat. Some of the best salesman I know owe their success to knowing how to tell a story that is captivating and compelling.

  3. BetsyKCross July 9, 2012 at 4:41 am

    I love to see a person who’s comfortable telling his / her story. I watch them get that far -away look in their eyes as they talk about people and places, breathing life into them and making me want to meet them or visit them! 
    And it’s thrilling to piece together an ancestor’s life and find trinkets of tales within documents, weaving them into stories. My hope is that they don’t mind when I end up having fun with the story and possibly get it wrong!
    They are walking (not the dead…) history lessons! The kind you can’t help but learn from and remember…unlike history class at school!

    • TheJackB July 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      I love that moment when you see the light in their eyes, watch them lean forward and hear something extra in their voice. That energy can be contagious.
      You do a good job of telling those stories about ancestors and making it interesting to read.

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