When we were culling and moving, I came across a great book written by my dad’s brother, Charles Francis. I promise you have never seen a book like this…unless you have seen this one.
Pick a subject…any subject. Do you need ideas, quotes from specific people whose names your readers will recognize? What subject? Funny stories, anecdotes to make your point or what else? Well…you name it and then you can find it in this book.
To demonstrate, I will pick a topic. As you know, I recently embarked on a new adventure. To be successful, I must overcome my fear of failure, and my tendency to panic and talk myself into giving up, etc. I want to feel motivated and I want to use humor. In ten minutes, I had everything I needed to start.
I looked in the table of contents where everything is cross-referenced under different categories. As most of you know. I was raised on humor. Here was Uncle Chuck’s best quote explaining humor…
“Humor endows us with the capacity to clarify the obscure, to simplify the complex, to deflate the pompous, to chastise the arrogant, to point to a moral, and to adorn a tale…”
Who said it? The late US Senator, Sam J. Ervin, Jr. who, at the age of 76, headed the Senate Select Committee investigating the Watergate scandal.
Once upon a time, a young donkey asked his grandpa, “How do I grow up to be just like you?”
“Oh, that’s simple,” the elder donkey said. “All you have to do is to remember to shake it off and step up.”
“What does that mean?” asked the youngster.
The grandfather replied, “Let me tell you a story…”
“Once when I was your age, I was out walking. I wasn’t paying attention and fell deep into an old abandoned well. I started braying and braying. Finally an old farmer came by and saw me. I was scared to death. But then he left. I stayed in that well all night.
“The next morning, he came back with a whole group of people, and they looked down at me. Some of them even laughed. Then the farmer said, “The well’s abandoned and that donkey isn’t worth saving, so let’s get to work.’ And believe it or not, they all started shoveling dirt into the well. I panicked. I was going to be buried alive!
“After the first shovels of dirt came down on me, I realized something. Every time dirt landed on my back, I could use it and step up a little bit higher. They kept shoveling and I kept shaking the dirt off and stepping up. This went on for some time.
“Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…’ I kept repeating to myself for encouragement. I fought the panic by shaking it off and stepping up. And it wasn’t long before I stepped out of the well, exhausted but triumphant.
“So no matter how difficult the situation, no matter how bad things get, no matter how much dirt gets dumped on you, just remember – shake it off and step up. You’ll be alright.”
Like almost everyone on both sides of my family, Uncle Chuck graduated from Murdo High School. He also wrote a book called, Murdo Man. It’s different from my stories. He goes more into the history of Murdo and the Francis family.
I will tell you more about this great man, later.