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August, 2004

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August 26, 2004

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
- Lee Iacocca

August 15, 2004

As residents of Florida deal with the devastating effects of Hurricane Charley I find myself reflecting on the times I lived in the "sunshine state". I was born in the Orlando area and then my family moved to Miami when I was a baby. By the time I was three we'd moved again (can you guess that my Dad was in the Air Force?). Many years later, in the early 1990's, I had a job in Tampa and lived in the south St. Petersburg area. My old house was in the direct "projected" path of the hurricane. Thank God that the storm veered and hit land in a much less densely populated area.

To experience such a force of nature is a significant event. It's a good suggestion if you are ever in an area where you know that a natural disaster, like a hurricane, is imminent that you include a small tape recorder and a journal with your emergency kit. Years later for others to share in those memories can be very special.

Prayers and best hopes for a quick recovery for all of you in Florida.

August 12, 2004

I was going through my briefcase and I discovered I have several scraps of paper floating around in there. It's a bad habit of mine that I jot things down and stuff them in my bag and then I've got an unorganized portable filing cabinet.

Of course, I know better and I often break myself of this and get things straightened out. (I'm actually almost anal in organizing certain things, like information for business projects and personal history work.) It's not that writing stuff down is bad. It's just that I need to keep better track and condense my lists into one system.

Making lists is something we all do. A list for the grocery store, school supplies, your daily "to-do's" and so forth. Have you discovered the value of making lists when putting together personal history? This is a very powerful technique that will help you remember more and in greater detail.

The Memorygrabber has an entire section on lists. A few examples include your favorite bands/musicians, vehicles you (and your parents) have owned, your favorite movies, the leaders of your country during your life, and the the people who've had the biggest impact on your life. You get the idea.

This personal history workbook, available as a downloadable e-book, is really good. I continue to get use from it. Get started on your lists and more with the help of the Memorygrabber (more).

August 9, 2004

I received an interesting phone call today. A researcher for the Jane Pauley Show found this web site and was interested in video biographies for an upcoming episode. Doing videos is not my expertise, but I do have information on this site and links to a number of good providers.

Jane Pauley's new daytime talk show starts August 30th and is cleared in most US television markets. So, keep an eye out for it. It will be interesting to see them cover this rapidly growing field, particularly since they claim their approach to talk TV will be different from everyone else. | see this story |

August 6, 2004

He was called the "Father of photo journalism". Veteran French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who has died at the age of 95, was universally seen as one of the most influential image-makers of the 20th century.

I've often commented (here and here) on how pictures, especially photographs, are a great way to preserve some family history as well as prompting memories. Here was a man that turned it into an art form. The co-founder of the Magnum photo agency, a pioneer in photographic reportage, died on Monday in Provence in southern France, and was buried on Wednesday. Read more here.

August 3, 2004

Our dog, ShadowAs we enter the hot days of August...the dog days of summer...I thought I'd give you a look at the newest member of our family. Shadow is a chow/labrador/collie mix and quite adorable. He's just a pup, but already over thirty pounds!

Pets are part of your family history, too. Don't forget to include them. If you want a fun exercise, write about a pet - past or present - and a time when you did something fun, strange or poignant.

July 27, 2004

A completely psychedelic (and delicious) flashback to the groovy sixties can be found here.

The 1960's were a decade that changed a lot. In fact, it is still changing things. Timothy Leary, The Grateful Dead, Woodstock, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, an in-depth look at the year 1968 and much more. And some really freaky posters. Far out, man.

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