Monday, May 3, 2010

Everyone Has a Story

My husband and I have a dear friend, an older gentleman, who loves to tell stories and recount his many adventures. He tells stories with a boyish charm and a twinkle in his eye, and I love to sit across the table from him and hear him talk. He could go long into the night and I could listen. He served in WW II in the Pacific. He is a farmer, an elected official and a world traveler. Our friend had four daughters and now has many grand and great grandchildren.

We had him over a few nights ago because back in the 70's he made three trips to China with farmers on a kind of agricultural exchange trip. This was shortly after China opened it's doors to the west. Once, the trip with farmers did not fill up, so he took a group of food writers to China instead. He took many pictures which were made into slides and brought them by to show us. We had recently taken a trip to China as well, so we were eager to compare notes between 1975 China and 2010 China.

Our friend had many slides of the people of China: school children, farmers, housewives, jade carvers, bicycle riders, old faces, young faces. His slides brought to life the beautiful people of China which he had also come to know so well. Our friend was totally taken with his photos of the people. He would watch them flash by and shake his head and say, "Look at all those beautiful people and every one of them has a story."

The lights were low in our living room and his aging face was lit only by the light of the slide projector. He had such love and passion in his voice. Our friend, the aging raconteur, fully embraced these people from so long ago and so far away. He remembered them and honored them, recognizing they each had a story to tell. I will always remember that night and whenever I see one of the 1.3 billion people of China, I will wonder what story he or she has to tell.
--Amy for the Poplar Grove Muse


  1. Amy, you have brought such wonderful stories into all our lives in recent weeks. Thank you! MKP

  2. Lately, everywhere I go I find a story. I've been madly scribbling notes in the notebook I carry. Everyone has a story and it's fun to try to guess. That's one reason why I love being a writer. Thanks Amy.