The reading for “Holding On” is going pretty well so far. I would have to say that the greatest strength of the book as a whole, is that it is just a collection of short stories. Short stories always seem the easiest to read because it keeps it fresh and interesting. The biggest weakness is that most of the profiles are from interviews done 20-30 years ago, and even then they were mostly stories of events that happened decades before that. We can always learn from history, though. Another flaw would be that it has been scientifically proven that the human memory not only retains small amounts of information from any given event, but that when trying to remember facts the brain fills in information gaps with things that may not necessarily be true. This creates a problem with only asking one person about something that happened, especially an elderly person with a fading memory. If the theme or some intangible quality is what is of importance over truth and facts, however, the issues with human memory are not really relevant.
The story that stuck out to me the most was Mr. Bean and his Dinosaur Garden. I really think that the underlying theme for his profile was about taking risks. He wanted to have giant dinosaurs in his yard for people to come enjoy, but it did not work out. Nobody was interested in it, even after he poured all of his time and money into it. This kind of thing happens to all sorts of people trying to start up their own business, but he did not let failure consume him. He obviously should have looked to see if there was even a market for his idea, but hindsight is 20-20. He still enjoyed his dinosaurs every day, even after everything went terribly wrong. As long as you make decisions based on what you need to be happy, do the details of the end result even matter?
I wanted to find out what happened to his beloved dinos. It turns out that he kept them until he died, and then they were moved. They stayed in the state of Texas, but moved to a bed and breakfast that is dinosaur themed.