Horace Frederick Thompson circa 1959

My dad was a complicated man. I don’t fully know what will become of this project and I don’t fully know what to say about him now. He is my dad and I love him. But my relationship with him now that he’s dead is more complicated than when he was alive – I don’t know what memories are real and what are fabricated. So I start with his stories that are much the same – real and fabricated.

What draws me to literature is the tension between real truth and story truth – and if it matters if a story embellishes or plays with fact because that play conveys more truth to the reader than the true facts.

I’m inspired by “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien and “What is the What: the Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng” by Dave Eggers. Did one person really experience all of those horrors? Hopefully not, but someone experienced them.

This blog (and hopefully, someday, memoir) will examine the many stories my dad told and my hunt for the truth in them – both the historical facts and what I can learn about my dad in them. Through this lens I will also, hopefully, develop my relationship with my dad.

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