Breaking News

Local News

July 10, 2014

Werner and Mary Braun: Lasting memories

A number of years ago, I went on a camera safari in Kenya. As chances would have it, I was the only passenger in the safari truck so I had a lot of freedom in terms of where we wanted to go, the types of animals we wanted to see and how long we lingered at each location.

This was in the mid 1980s, long before digital cameras. At the time I was an avid photographer and enjoyed doing my own darkroom work. But back to the point.

As we crested a small rise in the savanna there, not 50 feet from me was a wildebeest giving birth. As I grabbed my camera, to my horror I realized the film roll was full. I was faced with a dilemma: either grab another roll of film and miss the event or put the camera down and witness the calf being born.

Thankfully, I opted for the latter. Today, 30 years later, every detail of the birth is still etched into my memory. (An aside: The birth was absolutely amazing. The calf was born in three or four minutes and within another two or three minutes the calf was on its wobbly feet. Amazingly, within about 10 minutes the calf was running off back to the herd with its mother. This is a perfect example of survival of the fittest. A calf learns to run quickly after birth or it’s lion food.)

Thinking back, I realize that my most vivid memories are preserved in my mind and not on film. After the second world war, my Vati (German for father) worked for the U.S. Army as an instructor in the new civilian police academy. He worked for Army Captain Mac. I was 4 when we left Stuttgart bound for Indianapolis.

As we were walking up the stairs to board the TWA Constellation, I remember Captain Mac handing me a “huge” Hershey’s chocolate bar. I can still remember how wonderful that chocolate tasted. I’m sure my parents remembered the mess I made eating it.

Reflecting on memories as I prepared for this column, it became obvious that the most vivid memories fall into two categories: the happiest and the scariest.

When Mary and I met, I was an avid rock climber and my scariest memory involved climbing. I got into a situation where I was looking at a 60-foot fall which would have been fatal.

As I sit here at the computer my palms are sweating just recalling that moment. When I asked Mary to marry me, she said, “Yes, but ...” I could keep climbing but needed to stop free solo climbing. She probably saved my life that day — literally and figuratively. Thanks, Mary.

So what’s the point of all this? Lasting memories can be created any day by the confluence of events or by planned activities that will create the memories.

Years ago when our daughter and son were born, we intentionally decided that we would work hard to create lasting memories for our children. Most recently, we rented an RV to take a road trip with our kids and two of their friends to Cedar Point Amusement Park on the shores of Lake Erie and then on to Michigan to visit the grandparents. It was lots of driving but incredibly fun!

It is my sense that the memories we create for our children are even more important as we get older. After all, once we pass, the memories that we leave behind are what’s left of us.

We will continue to work at creating memories — hopefully the happy variety.

Werner and Mary Braun live in Dalton. He is the retired president of the Dalton-based Carpet and Rug Institute.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Longtime Dalton business Green Spot to close

    Larry Green says he made the decision more than a year ago.

    July 29, 2014

  • Kiwanis Club3.jpg Kiwanians get a lesson in money and banking

    Money.
    It makes it easier for us to buy and sell goods and services. It is the measure by which we judge the relative value of those goods and services, and it allows us to “store value,” by placing it away and using it when we need it.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff: Inmates don’t ask to vote

    In his 21 years of service, Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said inmates have never asked for the opportunity to vote.

    July 28, 2014

  • Little library 1 mlh.jpg Little Libraries, big goal

    Whitfield County just received a new library.
    And better yet, 26 more are on the way to the region.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Picture 3.jpg Rock solid

    A great number of things have come and gone since 1974.
    One that hasn’t: a small Dalton school founded by parents wanting a unique learning environment for their children.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vann House Day '14 6 mlh.jpg History comes alive at Vann House

    SPRING PLACE — In the early 1800s, the 1,000-acre plantation belonging to Cherokee Indian leader James Vann was a bustling place.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local officials agree with Deal

    Regarding news last week that approximately 30 unaccompanied minors from Central America, who had crossed the southern border into the United States, were sent without warning to Dalton last year and enrolled in Dalton Public Schools, Republican politicians representing portions of Murray and Whitfield Counties agree — state and local school officials deserved to know in advance, they say.

    July 26, 2014

  • Former chamber location 2 mlh.jpg Plan could cut flooding, stormwater damage in Dalton

    On a recent day, McClellan Creek flowed gently through Harlan Godfrey Civitan Park. But some park goers who live near the area say that even a mild rain can turn the creek into a torrent that eats away at their property.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Civil War anniversary: The Battle of Crow Valley, May 9-12, 1864

    The Atlanta Campaign began during the first two weeks of May 1864 in and around Dalton. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s strategy was to target two of his armies, about 80,000 men, against Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee at Dalton. Then, while Johnston’s attention was diverted by these forces, he would secretly send his third army, about 25,000 troops under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, in a flanking movement to the southwest through Snake Creek Gap. Sherman’s goal was to break Johnston’s railroad supply line some 15 miles south at Resaca and trap Johnston’s Confederates in Dalton.

    July 26, 2014

  • New church being  built mlh.jpg Church construction continues

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo