Last night at dinner I sat with an old friend (the friendship was old, but so was the lady). I was asking questions about her years in Morocco, and she told me the story of her husband’s smile. His sincere friendliness won the hearts of the Moroccan people. It all started when, as a young boy walking home from school in the Idaho farmland, he decided he wanted to be a smiley person. So he began to practice, stretching his mouth into a grin as he walked the two miles home. Thereafter, wherever he went, he practiced his smile. It was a discipline that somehow made its way into his heart and became sincere. He grew into a warm, friendly man.
Several years ago, the evening he died, my friend decided to keep his body in the living room overnight. She just wanted a little more time with him. When she went in to look at him in the morning, he was smiling. He hadn’t been smiling the night before. His smile was so much a part of who he was, it manifested even in death.
I loved that story and asked her to write it down, something I frequently request of my neighbors here in the Friendsview Retirement Community.
This book, The Story Catcher: 2018-2022, is a repository of some of the stories from residents in this community.
Since the beginning, some 153 different residents have contributed their stories, some people writing for numerous issues. These are all represented in this book, which is a collection of 216 stories, all the issues covering the years 2018–2022.
Along with so many of the activities here in Friendsview, The Story Catcher is entirely resident-produced and financed under the Residents Association and its Council. It’s a system that encourages resident initiative and helps keep us all healthy and meaningfully active. This book of the collected issues of the journal has been sponsored by the Friendsview administration. We’re grateful.
We hope that the ongoing publication of our community journal continues to be a way for us to know one another better and become more unified as a family of people with a treasure-trove of stories to share.
Nancy Thomas, editor