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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meet Ralph Gregory






WITHOUT THE PERSPECTIVE OF HISTORY...WE ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT




Dear Mr. Felstead,

Yes, as far as the Washington Historical Society is concerned, you may use quote’s from Ralph’s book as long as proper credit is given. I looked at your blog and enjoyed it very much. The picture’s of Ralph evoked many emotions as he has been a ‘mentor’ of sorts to me for many years. He is an amazing man on many, many levels. I for one, appreciate your interest in him; I know that he appreciates it.

Sincerely,

Marc Houseman

Museum Director

Washington Historical Society



For the next few days, I am going to depart from my usual posting of a photograph and writing some prose about it.

I have mentioned Ralph Gregory in past posts...he is an historian who lives in Missouri about 1.5 hours south of St. Louis in the small community of Washington. Among his past experiences of being a prisoner of war, a philosopher, historian, curator of the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal...he has one other unique quality...100 years old and still active in his trade.

I found the video of his 100th birthday party and a very informative blog post about him on Dianna Graveman's blog. Dianna had the video on her blog and I have included it as well. It can be found on You Tube. If you have the chance ...visit Dianna's blog to see the article. She among other things is an instructor in the MFA in Writing program at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.

The above book is one of Ralph's books he wrote when he was 90! I was glued to the words as I read about life at the turn of the 20th century. The amazing thing to remember as you read excerpts over the next few days is that Ralph is not a Harvard Professor with a doctorate in Anthropology musing about how things "may" have been in those days...Ralph lived those days...and writes of his life growing up in the first decade of the last century and still lives today! That takes a while to get your head around! Tomorrow I will begin the excerpts.

Dan

11 comments:

Cynthia L. H. said...

Fascinating, Dan! He is so dapper and spry! ... still very lucid and more on the ball than many 40 year olds that I know!!! It is astounding and encouraging that we can all aspire to a life such as this. It will be wonderful to be privy to his "secrets" of longevity!
I'm looking forward to this.
;^)

Heather said...

Oh, Dan...I am anxious for the postings you'll be sharing. Your words here, boosted my confidence in self - just a little, not like I'll be jumping into anything but enough to hear God whispering to me - again :)

I'm looking forward to these posts. And what a wonderful letter the you received, so warming and sweet.

dianne said...

What an amazing man is Ralph Gregory and he doesn't look his age...its so great to see someone of those years so cognitive and alert..I think hard work, having an inquiring mind and just being interested in the many wonders around us keeps us young and vital.
Looking forward to the excerpts from his book...and what a nice letter you received. ♡

Dan Felstead said...

Cynthia...He is an amazing man. One of the most amazing facts to me is that he wrote this book at 90! That is an inspiration to us all...we still have time!

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Heather ...as I told Cynthia...after meeting and talking with Mr. Gregory...it becomes apparent that we should pursue our passions...I think that is one major element that keeps us young.

Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Dianne...my thoughts exactly. Curious inquisition into areas new to us or pursuing a loved passion in life gives us something to look forward to when we wake up in the morning.

Dan

Sunny said...

I look forward to reading your posts on this amazing gentleman.
Sunny :)

Dan Felstead said...

Sunny...thanks and thanks for stopping by.

Dan

Jean said...

Will the museum and/or Mr. Gregory be following your posts? I'd be anxious to know what they think of this attention.

No doubt you will do a remarkable job of highlighting his life and honoring him.

Dan Felstead said...

Sunny...he is a pretty neat guy! Such simple honesty and wisdom combined in one man...with 100 years of experience.


Dan

Dan Felstead said...

Jean...Thanks. I don't know if Ralph Gregory looks in on blogs but I think the Director will. If either would make a comment...I would be honored.

Dan