Letters To Tom — Packards

Editor’s Note:

You might benefit by reading Tom’s comment to my post on
Monday, April 25, 2011 titled “Letters to Tom — Invitation” at www.thehubbellpew.com. before reading
today’s post.

Dear Tom:

Thank you for accepting the invitation to join on my
archeological dig. I need all the hands available. I found your comments very
helpful. I think about an archeological dig and the little I know about them when
I think of journeys of discovery. What I have read indicates that the good digs
are well planned, carefully performed, and meticulously documented. Mine, at
times, are more analogous to a child in a room full of Christmas presents. I
jump from package to package, tearing at the wrapping and bows, and as soon as
I discover the prize I discard it, and tear into the next. Gifts get lost, and
the child in me ends up focusing on the torn paper more than the carefully
thought out gift. On the journey of discovery, I need to be careful to meticulously
examine each layer, and to not discard their beauty in the rush to the ultimate
find. Like peeling an artichoke there is lots of fruit on the individual leaves,
before one finds the heart.

As an example,on the first day of my journey a stone was moved
and a gem was found. A dear friend wrote to tell me that my description of
looking with new eyes reminded him of his father after bypass surgery. His
father after his surgery started collecting antique cars, especially Packard’s.
His early car purchases centered around Packard automobiles as he told his son
those were the automobiles that everyone admired when he was growing up.  He said he would see a new Packard ‘whoosh’
by, and he would just be in heaven. Finally, he could afford that Packard and
started collecting them. I knew his father before I moved to DC. He was a tough
man growing up in a tough industry during tough times; but, to those he cared
for, he had a heart and his loyalty was unmatched. When I read my good friend’s
e-mail my memory was flooded with stories and images. My journey had suddenly
be enriched beyond my imagination, just from the overturning of one stone of my
life. That’s the excitement of a dig you never know what one might discover.

My mother thought the same way about Cadillac’s, and she
finally got one late in her life. My friend wrote me about his father to tell
me that his father’s doctor suggested that he saw often people change after major
surgery. He wrote, ” After Dad’s surgery and the car collecting started,
we all realized something was going on with him. He had changed.  Some Doctors told my brothers that ‘strange’
things happens to men that have that kind of ‘medical’ experience.  Life means something different to them
afterwards.  Apparently the physicians
know about this.  It might be informative
to read some of these accounts from men that had this experience.”

I tell you all this is to explain that just one artichoke
leaf, one ribbon or package, one memory can unlock an insight that lasts a
lifetime or can change humanity. I understand good archeologists use spoons
rather than shovels on their digs. The smallest grain of sand may lead them to
discovery. The most insignificant aspect of one’s life may be, in reality, the
most significant. We just have to change the focus of our vision.

Your Friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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