There is an interesting story behind the writing of my book that I would like to share with you. A number of years ago at Christmastime, while visiting my grandmother, Anna Snyder, in the small western Maryland town of La Vale, I began asking her about her childhood and what it was like growing up in the early part of the last century in her home town of Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.
As we sat at her kitchen table sipping coffee and eating left-over Christmas cookies, my grandmother began telling me about one Christmas, in particular, that was her most memorable.
I was so intrigued by the tale she told me that, after our visit, I drove, with my wife and two daughters, from La Vale to Meyersdale to visit the small western Pennsylvania town where my grandmother grew up, and where my father was born.
The town remained much as I remembered it from my childhood visits to see my great grandmother, Elda Beal. When I arrived at the address of my grandmother's memories, I discovered that the house was gone and the lot vacant. As I stood there in the snow, I tried to visualize my grandmother's house as I replayed her story in my head.
It took me several hours to drive back to my home, at the time, near Annapolis, Maryland. All the while driving, I couldn't stop thinking about the story. As I tapped my finger on the steering wheel in time with the Christmas music playing on the car stereo, the idea occurred to me that the story my grandmother told me had the potential to become the basis for heart-warming Christmas book.
Over the next few years, I wrote and re-wrote different versions of the story, adding to it and elaborating on the tale my grandmother told me. The end result of my efforts was a Christmas book entitled The Golden Ring ... some of which is true ... some is fiction ... but the message is for real!
The story is set in the year 1918, and it takes us back to a nostalgic era when times were simpler. The Golden Ring is a touching Christmas story about giving, faith, love and loss. It is a wholesome book that the entire family will enjoy.
During all of this, my grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday. Her advancing years served as strong motivation for me to complete the book as quickly as possible so that she would have the joy of seeing her childhood Christmas memories in print. I wanted to get the book finished and into her hands before time took her from us. Fortunately, I was able to do this. But ironically, my grandmother passed away ... just days after I delivered a finished copy of the book to her. The last photograph taken of my grandmother was a photo taken by THE CUMBERLAND TIMES (See Photo Gallery Section), her hometown newspaper, which was doing an article about me giving my grandmother the book. Sadly, she would never have the opportunity to read the article. We buried her on November 24th - the day before Thanksgiving. With her, we buried a copy of THE GOLDEN RING.
© 2001 - Present by John Snyder
The Story Behind The Golden Ring