Kate Roney holds Orison Swett's Pushing to the Front, the book that will lead her to stardom in her chosen field of endeavor.
Photo by Oscar Roloff.
by Oscar Roloff
Many a time over the past years I'd visit the now-deceased Judge Ward Roney, Sr. at his farm in Duvall, and we'd talk about the good old days.
On one visit, the venerable judge handed me a book titled Pushing to the Front and said, "My grandparents gave it to me to use as a guide to success. I used it diligently as my beacon to a judgeship. I want to give it to you as a gift because I like the way you write about people."
I thanked him and left. Outside, I saw a 4-year-old girl holding a Raggedy Ann doll and snapped a photo of the little tyke. I never even talked with her. In a hurry, I guess.
I used the book to be a better person, because that is the key to success, the author stressed. Of course, the way to success is the work ethic, too, he wrote.
Because soon I'll have to lay down my pen, I must pass the book on to someone else. How about about that little gal with a doll, Kate, granddaughter of the Judge? By now, she should be about 21.
I called and asked her to meet me at her dad's place. Ward Roney, Jr., now operates the farm along with his other daughter, Lynn. I knew Kate had been a top scholar in school, high in athletics and scholarship, been a Dairy Princess, active in 4-H work, one who set high standards in life.
When Kate and her sister arrived, I told her about the book and how it helped her grandfather to rise high in life's work, and that it had helped me, too. I presented the book to her, the sixth generation of Roneys, and asked her to cherish it and hand it down to the seventh generation of Roneys.
Whereupon Kate said, "Seventeen years later, the circle completes itself. Oscar Roloff had received the book from my grandfather. Who would ever have imagined I would have the honor of receiving such a cherished gift back? I'm more than excited to have a piece of my grandfather back in my life. Now here I am, receiving more from Oscar Roloff about what I cherish most, my family. Thank you. It is the best gift I have ever received."
While in the true act of giving or receiving, invariably a tear or two may drop. A fine family. I'm very fortunate to be writing about such people.