Reading Then

Posted 6/2/19

While young I learned to love books which took me on ventures throughout the world. Reading became a favorite pastime and I have accumulated quite a selection which requires more and more space in my …

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Reading Then

Posted

While young I learned to love books which took me on ventures throughout the world. Reading became a favorite pastime and I have accumulated quite a selection which requires more and more space in my house. To me, it is sad that electronics are rapidly replacing printed material. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that one day those words would take wheels and wings and carry me to every state in the USA, or that I would travel above the Arctic Circle in Norway near Lapland, and later near the Arctic Circle in Russia. I have travel to Brazil, land of the Amazon River and Forest, and experienced some of what my childhood imaginations could only contrive. I saw pictures and read of Mt. Fuji and now I have been able to climb to its top. In the Bible I read of Moses and his basket of bulrushes in the Nile River, and now I have had the opportunity to have spent seven days on the River of which I had previously formed only a mental picture developed from words. I could continue in this vein relating voyages on the Rhine or long excursions along the banks of the “Blue Danube,” clarifying pictures I had painted of them by words. I have put real pictures to those imaginary ones of Biblical places such as almost the whole of the Holy Lands (three trips): Rome, Athens and Mars Hill, Corinth, Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, Jordan River, Sea of Galilee, and the Dead Sea. Childhood words came alive when I collected stones at the brook where David choose one to kill Goliath, and when I drank from the spring in the manner that three hundred of Gideon’s solders did to defeat the Midianites at the Spring of Harod near the hill of Moreh. Three times I have marveled at the beauty surrounding the Banyan Springs where Jesus informed his Apostles that he would build his Church. I have stood where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount, marveled at the view of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and worshiped and prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. The words I read from the Bible have taken on a new meaning. While living in a rural area, attending Bible Classes in small country churches as I grew up, I could never have imagined that one day I would be able to develop those mental words into visual pictures.        

I have already acknowledged the fault of many travelers to want to show too many pictures to an unwilling audience. Suffice it to say that in my childhood my photo albums were filled with word generated pictures, and today my albums are filled with the actual pictures from which the imaginary ones were created by my readings. The ones from my own camera that are missing are wild safari treks in Africa, as this has not been one of my destinations. I will continue to hold on to those that I still have stored only in imaginary albums as I have no further plans to replace them with actual ones.

I could not have imagined that the scenes formed by those words that I read as a young boy would materialize into fully developed pictures captured on film by my own camera. Words are more than letters of the alphabet placed in an organized printed form, but are pictures of every fantasy; the more skilled the writer, the clearer the emerging picture. I owe this treasure to my first teachers at Parrish Elementary School whom I now consider to be word photographers, and who had the patience to instill in me a love of reading. 

As a youth I can never forget how much I looked forward to getting the Weekly Reader which always contained subjects of interest. There were also the Grit newspapers which were sent to our house to be sold by my brother. I would always read one before folding it back into its original condition to be read again by the buyer. Reading about current events made the dead end road that led away from our house stretch a little farther into the outside world.

We are indebted to the teachers who taught with very little compensation and limited resources. Many not only had to teach reading, but other courses as well, some with students in multiple grade levels. Classrooms were many times cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Now the name signing with an X is largely history.  

Contact Wheeler Pounds at 3424 Kings Mill Rd, Oakman, AL 35579, or at wheelerpounds@gmail.com.