It’s 2012 and a New Year’s resolution might be to get organized: clean out closets, sort through boxes, separate trash from treasure. Between writing my book and a recent flood at my house (a water supply line broke) I have had to pull out many boxes and containers of pictures and videos from my life and career. The videos are on their way to being digitized before they disintegrate, and the photos have mostly been scanned, but still need some order. Perhaps you are in the same mode with your keepsakes? Here is an excerpt from my book’s Afterword I hope inspires you to take action on keeping your memories alive and well. Happy New Year!
“For the television show, pouring through pictures, interviews, and piecing it all together is not just a process or a routine. I feel like inside their family’s life, not as a voyeur, but a translator. This book has required me to do the same for myself. Many have wondered how I can remember my timeline so well. I know people who recite the lineup of World Series games or a player’s stats. I can’t do that. I think my personal time tracking ability stems from my family marking our calendars by our long summer trips, but this book process has even surprised me. No matter your profession, I encourage you to take stock of your journey; it’s amazing the memories it will trigger, the dreams it can re-ignite, and the portals it can open to an unexplored part of your life.
Just as I began this afterword, my mom showed me a letter from the Commanding Officer in Guam, recommending a promotion for my father. It said, in part, “CDR Mitchell… possesses a high degree of initiative, has a progressive viewpoint and displays sound judgment…. He is a neat, gentlemanly officer, courteous, pleasant, and cooperative. Forceful, with an alert, imaginative mind, he works methodically and carefully, and produces accurate, timely results…. He has repeatedly proved he possesses a high degree of leadership.” That was written in 1968. I was five years old. Reading it forty-two years later for the first time confirmed what I have always thought about my dad: that he was special. Now with a new perspective, I’m even more proud he was valued outside our family as a good man and an upstanding patriot.
This is why I love my profession. Story exploring and story telling allows people to connect with their past and places value on their journies beyond the box score or whatever their playing field in life. One nice surprise in this book process has been hearing players say the One on One experience was more than just a TV show; it mattered to them, to their families, and to their fans.” Excerpt from Afterword: Page 611