It is no secret that I love to tell stories and tall tales. Often while doing so I will say, “…to make a long story short…” This catch phrase is usually followed by some long winded, rambling reminiscence or re-telling of some adventure or story about something I once experienced.
Storytelling is as old as man and, although some say it is a dying form or art, I disagree. I like to think that everything is a story and nothing is a short story. Since the beginning of time, mankind has kept records of events and things that occurred in their daily existence. These memories, or tales, were usually passed along from the elders to the younger members of a clan, community or population. Before the printing press, “oral history” was the way to ensure that the stories, traditions and events were kept alive and known for generations to come.
I have, by nature, always been a curious person and I see a story in just about everything and everyone. I drive along the road writing stories in my head, walk the beach creating plots and connecting ideas for stories. At night, I dream fantastic dreams; upon waking, I exclaim to myself, “Damn, that would make one hell of a novel or movie.” But usually after becoming fully awake, the details and plots fade and thus, the world once again has been cheated out of a great book or movie.
As a boy, having spent most of my summers on Galveston Island, I developed a huge affinity for the sandy island in the Gulf. Stories were told to me by elders; some things I read in books or saw in movies. Summers on Galveston were magical and offered a myriad of story subjects and characters about which to write. Over the years, I kept notes and certainly held tightly to any memories that involved Galveston.
Several years ago, around 2011, I decided to compile some of my Galveston stories and put them into book form and perhaps share them with others. I knew that over the years, folks had (mostly) enjoyed my writing and stories in various publications. As I began to compile the stories and dig into stored boxes for notes and ideas I had jotted down, it became clear to me that some of my stories merited retelling and in a collected form — a book!
Thus it was, with the pandemic and time on my hands, I thrust myself into the task of completing the book of my Galveston tales. The title, of course, would be GALVESTION Memories and Related Stories, as I figured this would cover the gamut of topics I would include in such a collection.
The tales would range from island history, current affairs and my memorable island adventures, to a splash of educational entries. Having been a wildlife biologist and a science teacher, I wanted to include some factual natural history elements regarding some of the creatures that I included in my tales.
After months of working on the stories, I came-up with about 40 or so that I felt would make for a good collection to have published. I ordered the stories in no order, rather I would prefer that folks would flip around and read whatever title caught their eye. I laughingly told my publisher this is a great “toilet reading” book for anyone interested in Galveston — a leisure reading not designed to sit and read from cover to cover in one sitting.
I do hope that readers will enjoy the stories that I have included and in way, that the collection might stimulate some to record their own stories and tales. There is nothing better than sitting around with friends or family and sharing stories, be they old or new.
After all, everything is a story and nothing is a short story.
GALVESTION Memories and Related Stories is available at bookstores, Amazon Book, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble, OutSkirtsPress.com and ordering at firstname.lastname@example.org.