This story marks #100 for my WordPress blog as some might call it. I don’t like the name. Blog sounds too much like blah. I see the site as a literary junkyard for a small portion of the junk I’ve written. These completed and published stories eventually get towed and parked here. On occasion I’ll yank one out to salvage a paragraph or sentence for use in another tale.
One-hundred is a significant number in many arenas. I always thought I’d make it to the century mark where living is concerned. At age 50, I remember thinking I’m only halfway to my goal. These days I’m not so sure. I’ll keep trying as Colonel Norman Vaughan would have me do.
Colonel Norman Vaughan was an Alaskan adventurer and mountain climber. He made it five days past his 100th birthday before passing away. I met him many years ago at a lecture he gave regarding his journey to the South Pole with Admiral Richard Byrd.
After the meeting was over Colonel Vaughan signed a book for me, my son, and one for Aunt Dora. During this seminar I learned that Norman Vaughan coined the phrase,
“Dream big and dare to fail!”
For me, Vaughan’s statement refers to never settling for less where life ambitions or goals are concerned. This saying is intended for young and old people alike.
Norman Vaughan’s book is called, My Life of Adventure. He wrote another titled, With Byrd at the Bottom of the World.
There’s a mountain in Antarctica named after Norman Vaughan. He successfully scaled that 10,302 foot peak in 1994, at age 88. After his accomplishment, co-workers and I constructed a temporary monument to him at our place of employment. The Anchorage Daily News picked up on it and printed a near full-page photograph, along with a story on how such came to be. Colonel Vaughan made a personal visit to thank us.
My Aunt Dora was tickled pink to get her signed copy. She almost made it to 100, unfortunately passing away at age 99. Colonel Vaughan would’ve been proud of her for daring to fail.
God is the only one knowing how much time we have on this planet. For the rest of mine I’ll keep praising him and adding more stories to my literary salvage yard.
This is the latest addition to my collection. I dedicate it to the memory of Colonel Norman Vaughan and my Aunt Dora Guyton-Hankins. I know in due time I’ll see both of them on the other side.