Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Liston Elkins' Legacy

What kind of legacy is there in your family? Is there anyone in your family tree that made an indelible mark on you, that influenced who you are today? That person in my family was my maternal grandfather, Liston Elkins. He was a remarkable man and a born leader who cared far more about others than himself. He did much for our little Georgia hometown, Waycross, and when he died, they named a stretch of local highway after him. But what made the greatest impression on me was his voracious appetite for books and his passion for writing. He wrote for our local newspaper and had an opportunity to write for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. But my grandmother didn't want to leave their small town, so he declined the opportunity and determined to fulfill other dreams within the borders of home.

My Papa wrote all the time, scribbling his thoughts on little bits of paper that he forever carried in his shirt pocket. He was a brilliant communicator in many ways, but the written word was his medium of choice and I marvel still that he never wrote a book. Much of what he did write was about Waycross and the people that made it great and I have always believed that people loved him so much because he celebrated others and cheered them on to greatness, never noticing the level of greatness that he, himself, achieved.

The passion to write that kept him at his typewriter is the very same passion that courses through me and draws me to my laptop when so many other things scream for my attention. My Papa's dreams of writing live on in me and what drives me is a deep desire to leave a legacy of words that will impact generations to come. If he could know what a legacy he left for me and how it has shaped who I am and who I will become, he would grin his mischievous grin, cigar clinched between his teeth, and he would cheer me on just as he did countless others before me.


Jeremy August 28, 2008 at 9:37 AM  

He would have been a blogger...