Father’s Day is coming and yes, I am using my father’s fishing-camp portrait to gain your attention, because I have a story for you. A San Francisco reader wrote that her spouse’s wheelchair-bound father had become a silent, angry old man. They sent him my book for Father’s Day last year, and, “your stories uncorked so many of his own. They talked for hours about his childhood in eastern Ohio, the first rich conversation they had had in many years… he shared memories and details about his early life that she had never known.”
Explaining the value of a gift, writer Lewis Hyde insists “The gift must always move” My dashing father, Milt, was a true gift — to his family, his community, and nearly everyone he met. With my book, I try to keep that gift (and many more I received) moving.
Giving a book, any book, is a profound way of passing countless gifts along. And I hope you will consider going to your local bookstore, or Amazon, and finding a gift a Rust Belt boy or any father might keep moving, maybe by sharing something that you had never known.
Thank you, Chris Shipley, for your generous letter. It, and all the letters readers have been kind enough to send are real gifts. I promise to move them along.