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July, 2007

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July 30, 2007

Read just about any tombstone and part of the writing includes the birthdate and the day the person passed.  What separates the first from the last? Of course, it is all the living in between, but when you see it on the memorial it's usually just a "dash".

Take a look at and the poem The Dash by Linda Ellis. The moving video tribute should give you pause and I hope it reminds you why it is so important to preserve the events of our lives in some form.  

July 25, 2007

There are so many odors and fragrances and the sense of smell can be a powerful "time machine" to past memories.  In my personal experience the smell of fresh mowed grass in the summer is one such example. It brings me back to the summer of 1971 when my brother and I mowed lawns for many of the neighbors to earn spending money.  It was hard, hot work and we pretty much burned up Dad's lawn mower, but I did make enough to buy a set of golf clubs. It was a thrill to have that $65 and purchase something I had a deep desire for.

I'm sure you have memory prompts from various smells.  You might want to check out to get ideas.  I visited their site today and noticed Demeter has just introduced "Crayon" - a fragrance inspired by Crayolas® like you used in school (I remember that odor quite well!). They suggest the fragrance as a creativity inducer. 

July 24, 2007

One of the preeminent proponents of ethical wills, Dr. Barry Baines, is holding training this summer on how to become a certified Ethical WillsWorkshop Facilitator.  Letting your loved ones know what your life values and lessons are - what matters most to you - is an excellent legacy.  

I've noticed a great deal more about the growing popularity of ethical wills in the past year.  Find out more about the importance of ethical wills with this article. Visit Dr. Baines website at

July 17, 2007

Family Learn ( has unveiled their new and improved Memory Book service.  Memory Press (formerly iMemoryBook) has many advanced features to make it even easier to build your life story online.
You can invite others to contribute and when your book is finished you can proof it and then follow the turnkey approach to bind and print as many copies as you want. Plus, your book stays online, enabling you to edit, add to it and order more copies.  

It's an outstanding service, one of the best I've discovered.  You can find out more with the article I wrote (here). You can go straight to the site to get started - here.  I am an authorized reseller of Memory Press Memory Books and you can work with me as your personal historian on your project. I'd be happy to discuss it with you. Send me an email here and include "Memory Press" in the subject line.

July 10, 2007

Some of the more interesting stories, ones that hold our fascination over the years, are those that we find hard to believe, even when there is lots of information and evidence.  One of those topics is the case for alien life and extraterrestrial visits.  Do little green men exist? Is there intelligent life outside of our planet?  If so, do they travel through space and visit the Earth?

I am sure that much of it is nothing more than speculation and the stuff of science fiction. Yet we wonder.  Sixty years ago, on July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field released a press release stating they had recovered a crashed "flying disc" on a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico.  However, later that same day another statement was released saying the debris recovered was from a weather balloon.  And the infamous Roswell Incident was born (see Wikipedia entry).

Over the years there have been claims by various witnesses that alien bodies were found with the crash debris.  And that perhaps autopsies were carried out.  I don't know if we will ever know the full truth, but it certainly has fueled imaginations and even tourism in Roswell, New Mexico where a UFO Festival is held every year.

Walter Haut was the public information officer at the Roswell base during the Roswell incident of July 1947. Haut, who lived in Roswell, became one of the most interviewed and public Roswell witnesses and a key advocate of a saucer crash. However, he continued to disclaim personal knowledge of the debris or of the actual craft and recovered bodies as reported by other witnesses. This changed after his death when a notarized affidavit he filled out in December of 2002 was released where he claimed he had seen the crash object and bodies in a hangar. Hmmm. If you want to read more about it here's a link claiming "Roswell Proof".  I'm not endorsing one side or another. But I do think it makes for an intriguing personal history story about Lt. Walter G. Haut.

July 9, 2007

Longtime ABC movie reviewer Joel Siegel passed away recently from cancer at the age of 63.  Siegel had a keen sense of humor that exhibited itself in his reviews and with those around him, including coworkers right up till the end. He also became a father late in life and because he was told he might not live long enough to see his son born he wrote (and later published) a book that recorded all that he wanted him to know.  "Lessons from Dylan: From Father to Son" is the kind of book that has universal appeal. We all can relate to the message and values we want our loved ones to know, especially loving parents communicating that to their children.  It underscores once again the importance of recording our life lessons and values for the benefit of others.

More on Joel Siegel here at the ABC News website.

July 7, 2007

Does today mean anything special to you?  Many couples have been planning weddings on this particular date - 07/07/07.  It's a combination that happens only once every hundred years.

Lots of people consider the number seven to be lucky.  Bible scholars tell us this number was considered to be the number of perfection, the "God" number, if you will.

Gamblers and those with a superstitious streak think of 7 as the lucky number, and especially three 7's in a row.  So, it is not surprising that casinos will be packed today and lots of lottery tickets will be sold.

From your "story" aspect consider your thoughts and beliefs about numbers and dates.  Are there numerical combinations that mean anything special?  You don't have to be superstitious for them to have an impact.  Many of us like the significance of our birthdays in calendar numbers - i.e. xx/xx/xx. I recall that my wife and I were hoping our daughter would be born on 08/08/88, but her birthday ended up being a few days later on the 16th.  Her combination of numbers, however, are still multiples of 8 (for what it's worth).

I find today's date interesting and worth reflecting on.  I'm not inspired to rush out and gamble, but I just think it is an interesting combination. And as I am always interested in how other people react to things it is interesting to me to watch what others will do today.

As an attention getter, this date is useful and I believe that is the purpose for today's Live 
Earth global concerts on seven continents.  The performances are designed to draw attention to the Earth's climate changes and the issue of global warming and you may have seen former Vice President Al Gore and others speaking about it. More on Live Earth here.

July 3, 2007

Last night the NBC program Dateline aired highlights of Stone Phillips 15 years with the program.  Phillips has been interviewing people over the years and I was struck by the variety of people he spoke with and the stories from their lives.  There were celebrities, war veterans, criminals and everyday people. Stories of regret and shame. Stories of triumph over adversity.

Stone Phillips closed the show with a segment that he said was his favorite interview.  It was with his father, a wounded World War Two veteran who was able to turn his disability into an asset and a motivator for his son. It was very touching.  It demonstrated once again the power of sharing our lives, especially the most important and meaningful times that value our love and life lessons. You can read excerpts from Stone Phillips 15 years of interviews online at

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