The Absent Uncle: Writing

D.C. Schultz, guest columnist

Last night I was privileged to receive a number of short articles written by my brother-in-law documenting and providing insight into his life. He is going to be 89 on his next birthday and the record he is leaving for his kids, grandkids, and all of the rest of his family is incredible.

I think I have received over 50 of these column-length documents describing his life from growing up on a farm, to school, to the army service, meeting my sister (now married for just short of 66 years!), to having and raising four successful kids, having a career in education, and being an important part of small, southeastern Minnesota town.

He asks me to review them and look for errors! Really?

The pages are full of personal experiences that are well-written and truly an oral history of a man’s life written by him. 

For me personally – his writing takes me back to my youth. I was the ring bearer for their wedding, so many of the farm experiences, the family events, and his insight into what was going on around him leaves me in awe of his skills to remember and express it so eloquently. 

It certainly inspires me to be more diligent in my writing; pay more attention to what is important, what you want people (family) to remember. Very few of us are famous and have a following that is hanging on every word we utter (thankfully). But when you are writing to an audience, in this case, his family, he has hit the mark. 

Probably within every family there is a historian, one person that can express the times and events of their life that we can all relate to, and treasure.  

It could be you. In ours – it is Frank Moon of Hayfield, Minn. Thank you, my brother-in-law!



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