Somehow the pundits had milked the year 2000 for all it was worth with stories about the end of the world, crashing computers, and other cataclysmic projections that never took place. During the last days of 1999 many of us had looked into the mirror hoping to see a face that had made some positive profound difference for all of humanity before eternity replaced the present.
Then January 1, 2000 turned out to be just another day.
None-the-less, that was the day that I earnestly began trying to document my history.
But, since then I have grown to believe that facts and figures are for the engineers and scientists. Since then I have grown to believe that the feelings and attitudes which guide us through life are so much more important than the fables that have been repeated enough to become accepted as fact… to be accepted as history.
Now, some dozen years later, with my 67th birthday behind me, as I think about Essays on a West Virginia Childhood, I realize that I wish to paint a portrait of my childhood rather than try to provide you with a photograph.
Yes, a portrait, not a photograph. And, since I am the artist I can apply the colors and hues with strokes that compliment the caricature I wish to portray.
I do not share the fear that those who believe themselves homely have for a great painter. My essays will be self-portraits. Warts will be removed. Wings and haloes will be properly hung. Only the scars that reveal great character will be left uncovered.
Then I will unveil myself to you.
You can read more about the 2012 Essays on Childhood writers here.