I am a persistent person. Once I set out to do a job, like a dog with a bone, I cannot quit or let go until I have got all the meat off the bone or finished the project. While I admit that I am not always the brightest bulb in the room, I’ve discovered even a dim bulb, given time enough to shed light, may furnish enough light to do a job.
However, persistence is also a two-edged sword. It can be a fault as well as a virtue. In my younger years, I sometimes backed a horse long after he had left the racecourse and gone off to graze. I have supported lost causes after all hope has vanished. Like a person on a journey, and learning he was traveling in the wrong direction, he refuses to quit because he was making such good time.
As some of my readers know, for nearly a year, I’ve been working on another book, a History of Lake County. It’s not like most histories. My history is one that tells the more personal side of Lake County’s history. I try to make whatever I say, clearer and, sometimes, pictures and illustrations help, which brings me to the point of my story.
I was determined to find every possible photo and drawing that would help illustrate in the history. After five days in the Lakeport Library working at one of their computers, often failing to find all the right pictures, I collected a hundred and twelve photos on my Flash Drive. The Flash Drive, for those of you that do not know what it is (like me until recently) it is a gadget that prints dozens of pictures from the computer directly to a storage device the size of the end of your little finger. Later I planned to copy the pictures into the written text of the book in the places where they fit best.
I still needed pictures of one of Lake County’s more famous highwaymen and robber, Black Bart. I thought of the Upper Lake Library. When I drove from my farm to Upper Lake, Linda, the Librarian, let me sit at one of her computers to find my Black Bart photos. Not able to find where my Flash Drive plugged into the computer, I was ready to give up. Then ‘Bert’ (I never knew that good Samaritan’s last name) showed me the proper plug-in receptacle for my Flash Drive gadget… and I was off to the races. I found a dozen pictures of Black Bart.
If that success wasn’t enough to satisfy my persistence, on the way out to my automobile parked in front, I saw three horses. They were loaded with packs and grazing in the grassy shade on the side of the library. Their owner was nowhere in sight. That allowed me to conjure up ideas of why three pack horses were tethered to the fence and resting next to the library.
I decided the horses were owned by a Prospector. His three horses were loaded with supplies, and he was preparing to return to his mine in the hills around Clear Lake. No doubt, he had come down to have the ore assayed for content and was about to go back to his mine with supplies.
If I hadn’t persisted after five tries for photos in Lakeport, I never would have found my Black Bart photos in Upper lake or had the chance to see the old miner and his packhorse. Persistence pays off.
© 2017 PAL PUBLISHING/USED BY PERMISSION
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Visit Gene’s website; http://genepaleno.com/