Sometimes the people who have had the most adventurous lives in one sense or another are the toughest to get to write about their lives. My brother David had a VERY adventurous youth which included extensive world travel by backpack and thumb, as it were. My husband David's whole life has been adventurous as well, for a different reason. Sixty years ago when he was first in the work force (reserve airforce at fifteen - he lied about his age) there was the expectation that a person got his high school education and then found a job and remained in that job for the rest of his working life. In the 21st century, someone graduating from high school can expect to have many different careers, each preceeded by a spell of education. David was merely half a century ahead of his time, having had so far seven careers and more than twenty years of schooling.
But these two near-and-dear Davids are not at all inclined to WRITE about their lives. My brother David is a raconteur, and in order to have a story from him for the Rempel Cousins book, I compelled him to sit down and concentrate on A STORY, while I made notes. You will find that story in the Rempel Cousins Book, July 2008.
We don't see Brother David often; he lives at a distance and we don't travel much. But even with Husband David being more of a captive in this matter, he does not write!
But wait! When we lived in Ontario, he wrote regular letters to his parents in Victoria and these were preserved on computer. And years ago when the grandchildren were small, he wrote a series of stories for them, the Grandpa Stories. AND he kept a journal of his experience in the air force on Arctic Survival.
He didn't have to write anything MORE for me to have enough content for a book! I assembled these materials and voila! A BOOK!
There are always surprises working on family history. It was not a surprise that he wrote entertaining letters, nor that he wrote an enthralling journal of his adventures in the north, nor that his Grandpa Stories each had a moral. What surprised me was that the letters he wrote to his parents (those preserved were from the seventies and eighties) about our life in London, Ontario, and his work as a lawyer, had such a strong feeling of ANCIENT HISTORY about them. Reviewing them in preparation for their inclusion in the book, I read of events I had not thought of since, which in consequence seemed to have happened in the distant past, not just two or three decades earlier. This caused me to reflect that the past which starts only a split second ago is just as lost to us as the centuries-old history of a family line - if we fail to record it. From this experience came more motivation to persist with the work on books about the near and extended family.
Status: "David Rivett: Stories and Letters" was completed in January 2007.