One of the things I salvaged from my father’s last real study was this little book of Nathaniel Hawthorne stories, predominately The Great Stone Face.
I remember a Children’s message Dad gave in Ashaway, RI (so I would have been at least 12 years old then) that referenced the story of “The Old Man of the Mountain.” Essentially it is the story of a little boy, Ernest (the name of my Dad’s father and youngest son), who grew up in the shadow of that stone formation, greatly admiring it. His mother had told Ernest the old story, that “at some future day, a child should be born hereabouts, who was destined to become the greatest and noblest personage of his time, and whose countenance, in manhood, should bear an act resemblance to the Great Stone Face.” The story continues as the little fellow says:
“O mother, dear mother!”…”I do hope I shall live to see him.” His mother was an affectionate and thoughtful woman, and felt that it was wisest not to discourage the generous hopes of her little boy. So she only said to him, “Perhaps you may.”
It is a good story and I still remember the “moral of the story.” Here is what Daniel Webster, (the politician, not the dictionary genius), wrote about the Great Stone Face:
Our parents took us up to Franconia Notch to view the Old Man of the Mountain several times over the years we lived in Rhode Island. In spite of attempts to protect the rock formation from the ravages of nature it succumbed in 2003.
I still look for the remnants when I pass through the notch in the summer. And I still remember the story.