Which means, in providing this autobiography, I could bore you with the details of my first seventy years on this earth with dates, incidents, titles, events, etc., or I could reveal the person that I have become by publishing many of my written musings over the years. I've chosen to do the latter. Raw and unedited despite the changing times. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
I had to think about it. The most telling autobiography would be the lives of my grandchildren. What they've become. What they stand for. The people they have influenced. The world that they have affected. They are my autobiography. And I've included a number of entries that involve each of them.
But those reading this may not know Chase or Kaid or Jayla, so that would not do. I therefore return to my past writings to paint the portrait of Gerald Lynn Fuhrman, son of Harold and Lorraine Fuhrman, husband to Paula, brother to Steve, Randy, and Suellen, father to Jodi and Jarrod, father-in-law to Michael and Sarah, grandfather to three grandchildren. And father to the daughter that, sadly, I never got to know, Jeri Ann.
I suppose it's worth mentioning that over the course of the many years I've walked the earth I've managed to obtain a couple of college degrees and held positions in six different companies. Those positions, not including summer jobs or part-time jobs - I hope I can remember them all - in order, were: assistant manager (1972), manager, district manager, national accounts manager, director of fleet services, director of national alliances, director of store development, regional sales manager, business sales manager, logistics analyst, sales representative, newspaper columnist, regional sales manager, and, lastly, manager again (till 2016). And, for a number of years I was president of our horse farm - Stoney Lonesome Inc.
There is something of a reverse chronology to the material, but not overly.
In addition to the weblog entries I retrieved a number of works that I originally published on a social media site called Facebook. You'll find within this volume, especially in more recent years, entries from it that I felt were worth saving to this extravaganza.
So why am I taking the time in my twilight years to put into print an autobiography? Fair question. Most importantly, honestly, is the matter of ego. I choose to be remembered after I'm gone. The grave marker in Rome that rests atop the remains of the poet John Keats has always haunted me. Included are the words,
"Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water."
He considered his life to be insignificant, his life's work destined to perish. Ephemeral. Unlike Keats, next to Shakespeare the greatest poet in all of history, a man who thought that his legacy would quickly disappear in the ripples in that huge pond of human history, I choose to not be a ripple in time. Most of that which I wrote over the years has already become that ripple. Of the nearly 21,000 weblog posts, I have kept only about 340 for the purposes of this book. Those I eliminated involved mostly politics and news of the day, stories that mean little now in the big picture of things, and do not add to my attempt to define myself. Of the tens of thousands of Twitter "tweets" I posted over the year I've included zero here. They were meant to be "writ in water" and, thus, have vanished forever. It falls, then, on my Facebook page for the most recent - and most family-oriented - musings to complete the picture here.
Plus, I want to reach out and communicate to my great-grandchildren and their children and grandchildren. They are me and I am part of them. That fact is important to me. Thus, this autobiography.
I think it is important to mention the contribution made by the most important person in my life. Paula. If anyone influenced me in a positive way over the many years it was the woman that I fell in love with in 1966 and have loved every day since. She was, in truth, the more important contributor to our descendants' lives. This is a tribute to her and is, in a way, her autobiography as well as mine.
I ask that Jayla and Kaid and Chase pass this down to their offspring, should they be blessed with any, so that their children and grandchildren will know the contribution - slight as it might be - that I made toward their being good, wholesome, loving, upstanding, resolute Americans.
When the end comes my thoughts will be these (with apologies to singer, songwriter Neil Diamond):
I have sweated beneath a hot sun.
Looked up in wonder at a bright moon.
And wept when it was all done
For being done too soon.