This photo is a classic prompt for a story: father, son, history.
Susan says, “An age-old purpose of story was to pass wisdom from one generation to another. Parables, fairy tales, fables, myths, legends all contain, at their hearts, a kernel of advice about how to live successfully in our complicated “real” world. Whether it is brick vs.straw, or haste vs. patience, stories will guide a listener to a specific moral ending that outlines the proper path. Here Lucia has taken a photo of the cab of an old steam engine train. The boy is listening with rapt attention to the older man. What could be the story he’s telling here? Perhaps how awareness of simpler transportation methods sheds light on the more complex workings of today’s rapid transit, seeing how the complexities of forward motion are revealed in the clear and simple mechanics of older machines, understanding the value of caring for outmoded antiques will amaze future generations with working relics. Regardless of what story is told here, the boy’s undivided attention gives an indication of how story is captivating.”
Lucia says, “In the midst of the steam and the noise of a working old engine, a man and his grandson stand with heads together talking. Their conversation is what gives this photo strength. Yes, the engine itself with all it’s gears and wheels is a sight to see. But it’s the human interaction that draws your attention. What are they talking about? I imagine the older man is giving the young boy tips or instructions on running the steam engine or maybe he’s telling him a story about something he did with this engine. The boy will probably inherit this beautiful piece of machinery. But it’s the stories he’s learned from his grandfather that will stay with him his whole life. If the raconteur is generous with his information and the listener is open to receiving the message, there is no limit to the power of storytelling. Imagine many years from now, when this boy is an old man, himself, and he recalls this day, hopefully he will remember it with great fondness.”
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