This is a collection of stories I wrote when my family was young and the world was more naive. This is a record of life in and around the Heartland before 9/11. These are some stories I told that people seemed to remember. My heroes have always been storytellers, like the late Charles Kuralt of CBS's On The Road and Sunday Morning. He was inspired by the great Hoosier war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Today, there's the great American raconteur Bob Dotson. Not long ago when the NBC Today Show reporter spoke to a group of our students at Indiana University, he reminded us of the wonderful stories that have made our country great. He said to remember, "The reason you got here is because of all those who came before." We are not cut from one cloth, he said. He's not talking about retelling the day-to-day murder, mayhem and politics journalists must cover, but looking under rocks and beside creeks to find stories about folks who work hard, play hard and pray hard. These are people who fly under the celebrity radar, but who are the sturdy foundation of our country. A lot of folks like that can be found in Indiana. I'll never be able to take you on the remarkable journeys that Bob does with his words, but I can share what it is about Indiana people, places and things that I've come to hold dear in my world. Much of it revolves around my family, which is probably a lot like yours. What I wrote was the mood and passion of my heart at that time, in that place. It is true that precious people and things reveal themselves in passing from us. I'd like to share some of my precious memories from the past. Maybe it will stir your memories and help encourage us all to appreciate the here and now.