Shortly after becoming Arkansas’ governor, I had the opportunity to hire my long-time friend, Larry Toller. I’m not sure what it says about his time in the governor’s office that he chose not to include any stories from his experience there, but I could submit a few of my own.
Every class has its clown, and I guess every staff does as well. Larry served this role with distinction during the four years he worked for me. It was a rare staff meeting that passed without Larry having some “interesting” anecdote or sage words of advice for the rest of us which we, of course, immediately and wisely ignored.
Larry has always had a knack for recognizing the humor in everyday situations. He’s also had a way of recognizing the deeper significance of what might seem like an insignificant event.
Through the stories in these pages, Larry follows the example of Jesus, the greatest communicator who ever lived, by teaching us simple lessons from everyday situations. Jesus taught his disciples, and us, the important lessons by observing life as it happened.
We would never have the benefit of learning the great lessons of Jesus had no one taken the time to write them down. Larry shows us how easy it is to record one’s memories (and believe me, if Larry can do it, anyone can), and he gives us simple prompts to get us started. I know of no greater gift a parent or grandparent could give their children and grandchildren than a written record of their passions, joys, fears, loves, beliefs and convictions expressed through “memory journals.”
How many of us wish we had just five more minutes of conversation with a mother, father or grandparent? The lessons we learned in those casual conversations were sometimes subtle and sometimes obvious, but they were gained because someone lived the experiences and lived to tell about them.
I hope you enjoy this book but, more importantly, I hope you find that it spurs you to unlock those memories and to record them for posterity. In the process, you’ll be creating an everlasting gift for future generations.
Governor of Arkansas