Reading — memories of my youth…
I accidentally came across two of my favorite short stories today while searching for something entirely different on the internet. At English 204-DCC, I (re)read The Chrysanthemums and The Snake by John Steinbeck.
I remember these two stories in particular had an impact on me some 40 years ago but at first, for the life of me I couldn’t recall the specific reasoning I had back then. Of course, I read them now and I can appreciate the insight Steinbeck had for his observation of people and their environment but what could it have meant to me at 15 or 16 years old?
Then, it came back to me just as though I was back in 1975, English Literature class, with 20 other long-haired, pimpled kids–I wasn’t in that class, I was in Salinas Valley in California, or the laboratory of a biologist. I was somewhere other than my desk at school. I was traveling. It was then that I became aware of what reading a good or great story truly meant. For the first time I was conscious that I could read; travel, see, taste, smell and hear what someone else was describing with words. The ability to see and feel all of those things instilled in me a passion for adventure outside of my normal life; and that sense of adventure later became my life.
We each have genres that appeal to our nature. I would just like to say, “Thank you, John Steinbeck…thank you story tellers.”