Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
quality family history and life story news, views, methods, products,
...and whatever else catches our fancy of personal
8th Grade Students Write From the Heart
May 31, 2017
An 8th grade Language Arts Class at Chowchilla's Wilson Middle School
was given a writing assignment. Their teacher, Karen Gallagher asked
her students back in September to write about a moment in their lives
that had a big effect on them and changed the way they looked at
themselves and the world around them. An interesting and seemingly
The result was that the students and the teacher learned about each
other in a much greater way than they anticipated. The students opened
up and wrote from the heart about some powerful experiences. It took
seven months and some art students even got involved and created
illustrations. Stories detailing jhow students dealt with difficult
family situations, loss and new life, friends, triumphs, discoveries,
defeat and determination emerged.
A book has now been published with the stories and to the delight and
amazement of the students who never thought they could accomplish
such a thing. 82 Footprints is
now available as a book that will be treasured by the teacher,
students, family, friends and even strangers. I think it is marvelous
that they spent the year on this important project and saw it through
to completion. What a triumph!
Brian Wilkinson, editor for the Sierra Star wrote about this project and you can read a few of the stories from the book.
Closed For 70 Years Opened and It's Like a Time Capsule
May 22, 2017
It was a remarkable discovery when a Paris apartment, locked since
1939, was recently opened. It was like stepping back in time - a time
capsule of sorts - and the amazing amount of art inside makes it quite
a treasure trove.
The woman who lived in the flat for many years, Mrs. De Florian, had
fled to the south of France before World War Two broke out. She never
returned and after she died at the age of 91
it was opened to take inventory of her assets. And there were some
amazing discoveries, including a painting of a beautiful French woman
since identified as Marthe de Florian. She was the grandmother of Mrs.
De Florian and a French actress and socialite. That painting turned out
to be a work by 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini and was
sold at auction for over $3 million dollars! Apparently Boldini was one
of her many admirers.
There were some other fascinating finds in the apartment. Some great
pictures are included in the Daily
Mail article, Inside the Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Treasure trove finally revealed after owner locked up and fled at outbreak of WWII.
Historical discoveries such as this can be quite amazing. However, it
is possible you have some great discoveries with interesting family
history stories stored away in old letters, journals and photo albums.
Unlock these treasures. Preserving our personal history is important.
R.I.P to the APH
May 17, 2017
A week ago I received a surprising email. It was sent to all the
members of the Association
of Personal Historians (APH), a not-for-profit trade
organization with members around the world, announcing the dissolution
of the organization.
This was a shock. But unfortunately a necessary move that the Board of
Directors struggled over, but ultimately had to implement. Apparently
the 21 year old association has been experiencing increasing
difficulties to meet expenses. Not enough membership renewals or new
members and the costs of running the fine organization were oustripping
the operating budget.
I am saddened by the news having been a member since 2003. But it does
not mean the end of the personal history and life story movement.
People are increasingly finding ways to preserve their stories
(memoirs, videobiographies, digital and material scrapbooks, photo
albums, websites and much more).
It is often difficult for people to make a profitable business out of
life story work. Most personal historians do it for the love of the
work and the countless good reasons for saving life stories. Having the
support of others and an organization with resources and networking
opportunities is valuable. Fortunately enough of the APH members are
interested in keeping connected and already using social media like
Facebook to do so.
My intent is to continue to wave the banner of support for people
telling their story. I do this work and promotion along with my
fulltime teaching gig, so I do what I can on a part-time basis. But I
will continue to promote the services and providers that I think can
provide quality and rewarding work for those who are interested in
preserving their lives with their life stories.
So long and farewell APH. Sorry to see you go, but thanks for the years
of valuable resources and friends I've met during your twenty-plus year
May is Personal History Month
May 10, 2017
It's already the tenth of May and I've been very busy, but it is
important that I remind you that this is Personal History
Month. I've talked about it in past years and you can read
an article I
wrote a few years ago and just updated right