I suppose I have always had a fascination with books. It may be because Mrs. Willingham turned me on to Ted and Sally in the first grade. Or it may be because reading, writing and arithmetic were emphasized more back in the days of my youth. I can’t remember my mother reading to me; but for some reason I caught the reading bug early on, and I have been an avid reader ever since.
My first great adventure in reading was found in Jack London’s “Call of the Wild.” As a boy, I found the adventures of a dog named Buck in the Alaskan wilderness to be both fascinating and exhilarating. I have read the “Call of the Wild” many times since.
I have tons of books — shelves filled with books — books stacked all around my “reading” chair. I have so many books sometimes I can’t find the one I am looking for. I buy books and give them away. I love books!
So often along the journey of my life, I have been inspired, instructed, and helped by something someone recorded in a book. There have been times, in my reading, when words seemed to jump off the page — words I needed to hear.
Sometimes an author will put into words some thought I had been thinking for a long time, and it reinforces my position on some thought or idea. And the stories of other people’s lives can inspire and motivate.
I suppose that is the reason I became an author.
It has been my hope that my stories would inspire and motivate. William Faulkner wrote, “It is the writer’s privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.” That’s it! I write to lift hearts.
A business motivational speaker named Jim Rohn introduced me to the concept of “drawing on the equity in your life” many years ago. He contended we all have been building value (or equity) into our lives over the years. And he stressed the importance of drawing strength and comfort and courage and wisdom and confidence from our experiences and relationships in the past.
I was sharing this concept with an audience in North Carolina a few years ago. After my speaking presentation, an old gentleman approached me wearing a big smile.
“That ‘drawing on the equity in your life’ you were talking about,” he drawled, “we call that ‘building mansions in your memory.’ ” You know what?” he continued. “You can always go back and visit those mansions.” (Someone else said, “Recall a great memory as often as you like. You can never wear it out.”)
That thought became the title of one of my books, Mansions in Your Memory.
My editor was kind enough to add these words to the back cover: “IN THE RICH STOREHOUSE OF JACK MCCALL’S MIND ARE VERITABLE MANSIONS of memory — reminders of life and a time gone by. He re-visits these mansions often, recalling the crunch of gravel roads, the warmth of his grandparents’ smiles, and the gentle ebb and flow of life in the rural South.
Follow McCall as he returns to Brim Hollow, home to his mother and her parents before her. Mind the door (there’s a trick to opening it) and whatever you do don’t go in through the front door — the side door is for family. Work the tobacco harvest, listen to the soft sounds of the wood in winter, and feel the prickle in your nose that suggests a skunk’s nearby.
While you’re in the hollow, relax. These are simpler times. And bring your own reminiscences. We all have them, these mansions of memories built firmly in the hillsides of our lives.”
Prior to “Mansions” I published four other books titled, “Fireflies in Winter,” “Snowflakes in Summertime,” “Daffodils in Autumn,” and “Falling Leaves and Springtime.” Each is a collection of some of my most popular columns.
If you haven’t read any of my books, you are welcome to visit my website, jackmccall.com, to learn more. They make great Christmas presents! Or email me for more information.