To Zach, Nick, Hannah and Phoebe

(1 of 6) A recent view of the youngsters. From left to right are Nick, Hannah, Zach and Phoebe posing on the front steps of their home in Augusta.
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January 2005

I am 72 years old. In the seven decades of my life, mankind has experienced several wars and many changes in the way we live and think. I hope to leave for you a record of what I experienced. It's not meant to be a history book. It's just me talking to you and sharing my memories. My recollections are filtered by the passage of time. Also, they are distorted by my own perspective of events. So they may not be perfect. But they are pretty good because my memory is still sound and I will try to be as honest with you as I can.

Why am I am writing this book? Simply because I wish I had one like it from my father or mother. What were their dreams? What frustrated them? What satisfied them? What was life like for them as kids? I wish I had known more about them. What I do know, I'll share with you. The rest must remain a mystery.

Each of you will have your dreams. Some of them, at least, will come true. Some won't. Take comfort in the knowledge that no one is perfect. No life story is perfect. Mine hasn't been ... yours won't be, either. The most you can hope, when you are 70 years old, is for a lifetime with more successes than failures ... more joy than sorrow ... more pride than shame. If that is your lot, then I'll look down on you and I'll be happy.

With love and best wishes,
Grandpa Charlie