I’ve entered another Northern Colorado Writers Contest. Last night I submitted an essay titled “George Govan, A Gentle Man” in the 2015 Northern Colorado Writers Personal Essay/Creative Nonfiction Contest. I reworked a piece I wrote about Mr. Govan before he died. That necessitated changing the tense in which it was originally written and gave me the advantage offered by the passage of time. Reflecting on the things I learned from Mr. Govan several years after his death afforded me the opportunity to realize the difference he made in my life and just how fortunate I was to have known him.
If not for my freelance writing job from 2006 through 2012, I probably never would have met Mr. Govan. I was under contract with a local weekly newspaper, Harrisburg Horizons, to write a local history column titled “Did You Know?” That work pushed me way out of my comfort zone and into the homes and lives of several elderly area residents. I visited Mr. Govan many times and never failed to learn something from him. As an elderly black man, his life experiences were much different from mine.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to know Mr. Govan. I must try to live in such a way that someone will say that about me someday.