Rick had watched his octogenarian father slowly lose interest in everything. Once vital and alive, Jack was aging too fast. The only time that changed was when Jack reminisced about his childhood in Brooklyn. He snatched back a part of his lost vitality whenever he relived his past. Rick had an epiphany. He said to his father, “Dad, you tell your stores, I’ll write them down, and we’ll make a book.”
Jack had something to look forward to again. He became visibly younger as he waited for the book to appear. By the time the book went to the printer, Jack was impatient. “When’s my book going to be ready?” I met Jack for dinner at Home Town Buffet after the book was in his hands. He looked and acted nothing like the man Rick had first described.
Heirloom Stories from the Harnessmaker’s Son is more than a good book. It gave Jack something special, his joie de vivre. Jack lived seven years after his book came out, seven years that no one expected him to have. His book couldn’t restore his youth, but it could resuscitate his interests and bring his youth back to life. Stories have that power.