Several years ago, I wrote three volumes of personal history. The first, "Echoes of My Wyoming Boyhood," took me from birth to age 16 when I graduated from high school. The second, "September Beginnings: The Search for My Family Legacy" was a reminiscence of the gems from my personal and family background that made up my life legacy. The Third, "Raggy Music: How I Got an Education at the University of Wyoming" covered my four years as a student at the University of Wyoming." Thus, in several hundred pages, I managed to cover the first 20 years of my life.
At age 20, I graduated from college, had acquired a wife, was soon to acquire my first son, and was headed for Montana State University in Bozeman MT to work on a master's degree in agricultural economics. And there my story stopped abruptly. My family keeps asking me if nothing of consequence happened after age 20, like acquiring five kids, getting an M.A. and Ph. D. from Michigan, teaching in four universities, and all of the adventures and misadventures in between.
I tried to publish my three earlier tomes, to no avail. My reviewers gave me high marks for writing and content, but, alas, I was a nobody and people want to read poorly written gossip by celebrities way before they read something of substance by someone unknown.
In any event, I have decided finally to move beyond age 20 and begin writing again, something I enjoy doing. My memory plays more tricks than it did 10 years ago, but I have my wife to correct me, since we have been hanging out together since she was 16 and I was 17 and have been married for nearly 57 years come December. I'm not sure anyone will care, but I found before that reconstructing one's life does, indeed, bring meaning and perspective to understanding who we are, where we came from, and the events and people who shaped our lives. In my earlier writing efforts, I learned things about my parents and myself just by rethinking what I already knew but had long ignored or to which I had paid scant attention. Some of these insights can be rather startling, some life changing. I have read several books about the soul searching and life expanding benefits of seeking our roots and an understanding of our lives and of those who have been important to us. So now I will begin again. I may rethink publishing my first three volumes as ebooks. A couple of hundred copies or so of my first volume are in circulation, and all are in Wyoming libraries.