For reasons I don’t understand, organizations and businesses keep giving me writing pens—ballpoints, rollerball, ink, you name it. As a result, I have more pens than I know what to do with. So I keep them in coffee mugs I’ve collected over the years from a variety of sources. The mugs tell their own story.
Two of the mugs have words on the side about writing. One says, “I like big books and I cannot lie.” The other says “I write . . . because it is my purpose.” A third mug has a picture of one of my grandchildren as a toddler. Then there’s one labelled “American Embassy Hanoi Vietnam.” Two mugs are from organizations I belonged to, FIRN, that is, Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network, and WIW, Washington Independent Writers. The last two mugs are from businesses I dealt with.
The mugs, in short, tell an awful lot about my personal history as a writer, grandfather, and veteran. They are among the keepsakes that my descendants will inherit from which they will learn about the wild life I have lived as a soldier, spy, father, and writer.
I hope my children and grandchildren will enjoy the mugs as much as I have.