It’s a new year and in the next several weeks I will be speaking to a couple seniors groups to persuade them to adopt new year resolutions to begin writing the stories of their lives – mostly because it’s fun to do! Hopefully they will have lots of happy memories to write about while also sharing the history and culture of earlier times, wherever they lived.
The oldest among us have wonderful stories of an era of incredible changes. My mother-in-law has stories of their first electricity and their first indoor plumbing and of picking cotton in the fields as a small child. My father has stories of when O’Hare Airport in Chicago was a big cornfield and when gangsters took over their barn to put a still in it. My very elderly neighbors had stories of the Depression years and early history of our area. My Korean War vet friend has incredible stories of that war but also fun stories of famous ice skaters and tennis players and local celebrities he hobnobbed with. One of my mother’s friends in the nursing home became mother at the age of sixteen to her three little brothers when their parents died.
My project for the year is turning my dad’s slide collection into high resolution .jpg photo files using the Wolverine Titan film to digital converter (which I highly recommend). Then I need to go through a stack of letters he wrote home to his parents when he was stationed in Japan during the late 1950s. Fabulous photos of old Japan and I’ll get to learn more about my dad as a young man in a very foreign place.
People you know have fascinating stories – you might be surprised. Maybe you’ll make an easy new year resolution of getting to know your older family members better!