Since Project Keepsake was published in February, several men readers have remarked, “I don’t have keepsakes—that’s kind of a ‘woman’ thing.”
Au contraire! Twelve of the fifty-five keepsake stories in the first collection were penned by men. My husband, Gene, has a few keepsakes he stores in a Lundstrum stacking mission-style lawyers' bookcase in his office. My brother, Andy, has one keepsake that I know of, and if I plundered around his house, I bet I could find more. Yes, men have keepsakes. They may not talk about them a lot, but men keep things.
So today, I cast a light on a man’s keepsake and keepsake story.
I first heard Ed Huey tell his keepsake story while at a gathering at Jane Starner’s riverside condo just north of Chattanooga. He delivered a short summary while I ate salad and sipped wine. Ed’s keepsake is a wallet that belonged to his father. His story tells the tale of a broken family, a son’s sadness, and the kindness of a stranger.
“Oh wow! You’ve got to write that story down,” I said afterwards.
But Ed’s a busy guy—he’s a thriving blues musician with dozens of irons in the fire all the time. He teaches music. He plays music. He’s recorded songs and documented conversations with Mississippi blues greats. He even played the part of a dead body in an independent film a few years back—a performance worthy of an Academy Award, I might add. Plus, he and his beautiful and multitalented wife, Sharon Huey, had recently moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana, so I didn’t think that Ed would ever be able to carve out the time to write his story down on paper for me, or for anyone else. But I was wrong.
When Ed learned that I needed one more story for the book, he sat down and wrote “Black Swank Trifold” and sent it to me with a lovely note.
I am a rather stoic gal—a hard-as-nails, female Mr. Spock, of sorts. I rarely show emotion unless someone is sick or dead or I have been pushed to an extreme limit, but Ed’s kindness and his story evoke strong emotions in me.
His story begins on page 252 of Project Keepsake. Enjoy!
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