Snapshots At St. Arbuck’s can be ordered at Amazon.com
I started to read Snapshots on a plane ride from Amsterdam to Barcelona and couldn’t put it down. When I got to my hotel, I had to finish it.Socrates once said, “An unexamined life is not worth living.” Well, R.G. Ryan would make Socrates smile.
This little book will make you think about every part of your life: your childhood, important adults (like parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, relationships) your career, your future—you name it, it comes to life under R.G.’s observant eye. I am a Raving Fan of R.G. and this book.
Snapshots At St. Arbuck’s will take you more than a minute to read, but it’s worth every second. Let R.G. Ryan put your life into perspective.
—Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute
Manager® and Leading at a Higher Level
Snapshots At St. Arbuck’s ™
The Storehouse Of Days
I would see him every morning without fail on the patio of
the local St. Arbuck’s.
He sat there in the sun, head back, eyes closed simply
breathing…by his side a battered cane that had seen more miles
than many cars I’ve owned.
A sigh, a rattling cough.
His head seemed to suddenly come unhinged, dropping
first to one side, and then chin to chest only to be jolted back
into position, as if by tiny unseen men with padded poles who
had ringed his chair in anticipation of just such an occurrence.
Sleep finally conquered and he dreamed, snoring softly,
And I wondered…what filled his dreamscape?
His lips formed a mysterious little half-smile as if in response
to a favorite memory scrolling across his subconscious mind:
Perhaps it was when, as a young man, he’d seen his wife for
the first time.
How the sun had backlit her form as she approached him
over the crest of a low hill, the light dancing off her auburn
And that smile radiating from her face—the smile in future
years he would realize she held in reserve only for him.
His special treasure, his beauty, his lover and constant
companion now dead and gone these many years.
Or perhaps he dreamed of holding his first-born in his arms
and indulging in a bit of creative imagination as to what life
would bring to this red, squalling man-child.
Would he succeed?
Would he find happiness?
Would he find a love like the love his father had found?
Granddaughters clinging to his legs as he “giant-walked”
them across the sand and into the surf, their crystalline laughter
still ringing in his ears.
Long, lazy afternoon siestas spent with lifelong friends at
their special place on the promenade where they could talk of
younger days as the sea breeze ruffled the hair on their snowy
heads, at once cursing and envying the young folk who frolicked
in the same sand and surf where they once played.
His eyes snapped open suddenly catching me in my
A long gaze, a nod of his head, a raspy, “Bon dia,” and then
sleep reclaimed him.
And I wondered, “If I return, old father, will you still be here
in your place in the sun? Or will you have followed your beloved;
your old friends into the inevitable embrace of eternity?”
I can’t tell you why this particular scene filled me with such
melancholy, but it did.
It most certainly did.
And I’ll never forget that ancient, craggy face nor the way
he looked at me with the weight of so many years behind his
appraisal as if to say, “Live well, young man…live well, for you too
will one day come to where the storehouse of your days holds
less than the sum of your memories.”
And so I shall.