On Monday November 12th, 2012 I attended a reading by Keenan Randal. He read one of his new short stories called “When We All Get To Heaven”. This short story will also relate to “Shane” by Jack Schaefer. Both of these reading relate to each other by having a common theme of coming of age, appreciation and leadership.
In “Shane” by Jack Schaefer coming of age is one of the major themes that portrays throughout the novel. Bob looks up to both his father and Shane as role models. Once he sees Shane he realizes that that’s the man he wants to become when he is older. Shane’s loyalty and strength inspires Bob to want to be like him. Shane has one of the greatest inner strengths I know. He was able to walk away from fighting Chris, Fletcher’s worker. I believe that it takes more strength and control to walk away from a fight rather then actually fighting. This is one of many great examples Shane shows Bob what it takes to be a better man. Bob is also lucky to have his dad serve as an example as well. Joe Starrett is a leader for his town. He stands up to Fletcher when no one else wants to. He is also a very secure person with himself and manhood. He stays true to himself and is the man of the town. He is a perfect example of an ideal father. With both of these men is Bob’s life; he will grow up to be just like them in his own way.
The reading by Keenan Randall portrayed a theme of appreciation. In his short story “When we all get to Heaven” Ed Phelps, who is 58 years old, is visiting New York City for a Baptist Convention. He owns a beauty parlor with his wife Iseleen and has two daughters and one son with her. Throughout his visit in the city, Ed describes NY as such a beautiful place. He notices all of the little things when he is observing the people in the city. He comes to realize that NYC has no shame. People do things for themselves and in a hurry, not worrying about others around them. Ed also notices on his walk a huge crowd surrounding a limo. He decides to go over and see what all the fuss was about. In the limo was a famous person named Billy. Ed was then pushed with Billy’s people and was dragged into a room with them including Billy. Ed learned that Billy was a singer who is very up beat. He doesn’t care what anyone else says and he does what he wants to do. Billy then wants Ed to play in his show even though he didn’t know how. Ed ends up playing and singing a song with him. This made Ed appreciate his life greatly. Instead of going to the after party Ed chose to go back to his wife. Ed reminded me of Joe Starret in “Shane” because he is 58 years old, healthy and not retiring anytime soon. Ed is a family man and after his adventure in NYC he seems to appreciate the little things in life. The big things in life like spending a day with a celebrity and playing in concert with him doesn’t seem as important as spending time with his wife just in the hotel. He is also a very hard worker like Joe. He has put two daughters through college and his son went into the Air Force. He is a proud dad and takes pride in his work.
“When We All Get To Heaven” by Keenan Randal and “Shane” by Jack Schaefer made me realize a lot about life. It showed me to appreciate the little things in life and my family a lot more. It also made me think of the person who I want to become and that is my mom. She is such a loving and kind person. My mom also has the most inner strength I know. Through my dads illness she was so strong for everyone else. She wanted us to know that everything will be okay and she was what kept our family together through such a hard time. I just wish I would be able to grow up to be like her and take care of my own family like she does.