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Introduction

     I have a diary of varying degrees of coverage going from 1924 to the present which happens to be February 1972. In some periods, it is very sparse and at best may have a page or two of summary covering a whole year, while in others, it is very complete on a day-to-day basis running for several years consecutively. But prior to 1924, there is nothing but a few notes which I set down in the December diary of 1945. Having a couple of months of unanticipated free time suddenly on my hands due to having been forbidden to take a trip to Hawaii this winter as a result of an unexplained attack of GI tract bleeding in January, I've decided to supply the lapse of diary from my birth on June 23, 1902 to January 1, 1924. Naturally I can't do this on a diary basis, so I'm simply going to write an account of my life from my recollections plus some help from a few old letters and similar material. It is quite surprising what a lot of things one can dredge up out of the recesses of one's mind over such a long period. Furthermore, I have just completed an editing and rearrangement of the genealogical material collected by my mother so that the story is now in pretty good shape, carrying a fairly good story of my ancestors from the 16th century in a few cases, up to the present. Hence, the job I'm about to undertake is really a continuation of that story on through my life up to the present time. I'm doing this job because it's something I've wanted to do for some time just for my own amusement and satisfaction, and also because I think it just might be of interest to my children and grandchildren and maybe beyond them. I feel this way because I know how much I would have enjoyed having such a story of my father's life, my mother's, her father's, Joshua Forman's, in fact almost any of my forbears. I think I've had an interesting life, nothing sensational, but certainly full of many interesting and memorable experiences as well as a wonderful family. This record will pretty well fill out the picture up to this point. Since I'll be 70 my next birthday, I can't expect there will be too much more but what there is, whatever it is, I'm going to enjoy it as much as I possibly can. And this job will be one that I can look upon with satisfaction. 

Forman H. Craton

February 22, 1972.
Erie, Pa.
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