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Passing on the Ransome Legacy

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Posted by Ed Kiser on October 16, 2019 at 09:53:19 user Kisered.

In the Preface of the book, "Thorstein's Country," Arthur Ransome
wrote the following obvervations regarding the cherished books of
his childhood.

"...when a man has greatly loved a book he read in
childhood he gets the pleasure from seeing new children
reading it."

"...reading it can shrink in weight and knowledge and be
himself what once he was before ever he was submitted to
the assault and battery of the world, which, when he
considers it, he is surprised to have survived. Reading
that book he recovers his own childhood. And to see a
child reading it is to be himself a child, looking over
the other child's shoulder and sharing page by page the
old enthrallment."

In those above few lines, Ransome has well stated the attachment
I have felt towards his stories, to where they have become a part
of who I am.

Indeed, it is perhaps a wonder how a elderly man (myself, age 84)
can still go back to those Ransome books and find yet again a
delightful satisfaction from reliving those moments with his
chilhood friends in those books. They never grew up, and when I
am rereading them again, I am made to feel young again, to take
part in those adventures that were so real to me in my youth.

It continues to surprise me how hard it has been to get my
following generations to even try to read these books. This
remains to be a disappointment, to have to realize that they can
never feel the adventure, to share in the learning experiences
that I gained from my childhood readings of these books.
Somehow, I have not "sold" them on the idea of absorbing the
concepts presented by these stories that have been so much a part
of my own gathering of knowledge. They have missed out on so
much that has become a part of me.

But perhaps in a small way, all was not lost, because I once
received a Birthday card from my grandson. In such a card one
writes a brief note, the usual greetings and well wishes extended
on a birthday, but in this case, in stead of those words, I found
several lines of DOTS AND DASHES, which, when translated eagerly
into letters, spelled out those well wishes in a manner that was
indeed my reward. Somehow, I had passed on my interest in Morse
Code, presented to me in "WINTER HOLIDAY." At least, a part of
those books has been passed on.

Ed Kiser, Kentucky, USA

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