the rest of the story
One of my favorite iconic bits of broadcasting was Paul Harvey’s regular feature on the details behind famous people, their lives and choices. His wrap line, of course, was “…and now you know the rest of the story.” (If you need a refresher, here’s a clip:
I was reminded of those words many times this past week as my mom and I sorted through the old photos filling two large boxes and several albums. Nearly a century of images of family, friends, funerals, pets, livestock, post-blizzard snow tunnels and post-WWII Japan, where my dad was stationed. Mom’s memory is clear, and her recall of details and dates complete. Which means I got the extra-close-captioned story on people and times I knew and didn’t.
There was Tony, the two-year-old, green-broke horse my Mom rode 20-plus miles on a below-zero day to help her sister’s family during a difficult time. With that one, I learned she’d stopped in at Emeril Fenton’s farm–that’s Donny Fenton’s dad, to my southern Iowa friends–to warm up so she could ride on.
There was my Grandmother Lillie Thompson, holding my infant cousin Rick and looking not unlike the image I see in the mirror each morning–“…the last photo we have of her. She went to visit her sister in Missouri, right after that, and…”
And then there were the small asides that opened my compassion container big time. Of my folks’ Colorado road trip with friends who had just lost their little girl, and how an unexpected sight shattered the grieving mom’s heart all over again. Of the many problems one young farmer and father was dealing with when he hung himself from a barn’s rafters. Of broken promises and painful betrayals. Of new babies arriving after earlier babies died. Backstories. Some public knowledge, others secrets kept by individuals and the people who loved them.
That insight rushed back when I saw the word-picture above online.
Something to consider on a quiet January Saturday.