With last week being Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday, as well the anniversary of her death (February 7, 1867 to February 10, 1957) and many tidbits coming out in the news, like Mary didn't become blind because of scarlet fever, I delved into how I feel when stories you believed growing up aren't quite what they seem. I have liked a few Face book pages on Laura and the truth behind the books makes me ponder. As I write about my childhood, I wonder what will be discovered to have not exactly been that way. If I were writing them for children, what changes would I make to develop books easier for them to understand, or as the accusation thrown at Rose and Laura to promote political ideas. Pa really didn't have to leave his land in Kansas territory, but moved back to Wisconsin because the man who bought their land couldn't make payments anymore.
I'm also reading some books on John Wesley. Again to bring out the truth as best able, with his diaries, what contemporaries wrote about the man, both friend and foe. Be ready for the stories held dear, to maybe not be what the legend portrayed.
This weekend, David opened up to why nine years ago, he quit a job four and a half days into it. I had thought just before this weekend, that I remember him looking so haggard working the midnight shift there. He seemed to have aged ten years in those four days. He never was clear why he left, but I thought the midnight shift taking a toll on his body the reason. Yet, now he has been working midnights for a long time, without that defeated slump I observed at out kitchen table. I found out, crazy people worked there without a clue as to what they really wanted him to do. He would ask for clarification, and they would tell him never mind doing that, trying to find something else that they didn't know what they wanted him to do. He couldn't work under those conditions. Still they paid him for the four and a half days, plus an ESOP check a few months down the road. They couldn't understand why he questioned getting this check, didn't seem right. The man he talked to, just said, "Cash it. Why are you questioning it?"
I'm not sure if this industry is still in the Valley.
My point tonight is often what we think happened, maybe didn't really happen the way it was told the first time. For whatever reasons a story is not as we want, protection of children, protection of self, promoting self or ideas. A story may be told a certain way so it flows better. Or new information discovered make the first telling different than the truth, not by anyone's fault.
Look for the truth. Dig for facts. Relay the truth. Unless, of course, the fiction is better.