With these two epigraphs in mind – the first,by the 19thcentury Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, underlining the importance of the work of memory in arriving at anunderstanding of one’s life as a whole, and the second, by the 20thcentury French writer Marcel Proust, emphasizing the significance of intensememories in lending emotional meaning to one’s life, especially what I callreminiscence in old age, I thought of attempting to write a short and simpleaccount of my own past.
Many have written of the past. The world today is full of their records. To those who are not too intensely engrossed with the present, there is some pleasure in reviewing things quondam. And may I say here, by way of introduction and apology for this writing, that for while it is something of a task to have to draw on one’s memory for a space of almost 60 years, yet it is not without some degree of pleasure that we take to detail certain things in days gone by.
Speaking of 60 years, as I write this “memoir,” I just became a certified senior citizen of this republic. So, before the aging process – with its attendant failing eyesight, backaches, muscular pain, sleep disorder, and even dementia – steals my ability to write or even tell my life story, now is the time to scribe my thoughts, especially those stories most familiar and beloved from my own experiences. This decision comes as I anticipate that someday my memoir would become a family heirloom.