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November, 2004

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November 26, 2004

I hope that you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm grateful for my family, friends and the opportunity to spend time with them!

I also thank you for visiting this web site. I hope you are continuing to work on your story. A great way to start is with a family newsletter that updates your family and friends on this past year. I just happen to provide that service :) check it out.

November 21, 2004

Did you see the new survey released by Rolling Stone magazine about the top 500 greatest rock n' roll songs? This survey polled the opinion of musicians, critics and industry notables. The top pick was Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone". That's a pretty good choice.

I've loved Dylan's music for years. He was a voice for at least one generation and his body of work is quite impressive. He can say a lot in a song. "Like A Rolling Stone" changed music at a time when most songs on the radio were less than three minutes (this song was over six) and with subject matter that mainly revolved around girls and cars. Dylan, however, had already released a string of powerful folk songs. Suddenly he thrust upon us the sound of electric guitars and swirling organs which gave birth to a new permutation of the evolving rock sound with this song that warns all against arrogance. Talk about "pride goeth before the fall".

And those lyrics! "How does it feel?", he screamed. "To be on your own/With no direction home/Like a complete unknown/Like a rolling stone?"

Bob Dylan has just released a book, a memoir of sorts, but as with Dylan's songs you can't categorize Chronicles as the typical autobiography. You might find his recent comments with Rolling Stone of interest.

November 15, 2004

I was unable to attend the 10th annual Association of Personal Historians conference in Baltimore which just concluded this past weekend. I'm sure it was an oustanding event as demonstrated by the many positive remarks already being shared on the APH email discussion list. The APH is really a very fine organization and if you are interested in more visit their website.

A group of Minnesota members has a very interesting website they've collaborated on called Got Stories.

To do your personal story (autobiography, memoir or whatever) justice it's probably best to hire a professional. Many people get interested and then balk at the cost. However, you must consider the time and expertise involved. It's an incredible service that requires talent and time to put out a top-notch product. Still, if you can't afford to do it this way there are still avenues to pursue. I still think the Memorygrabber is one of the best ways to go if you can only afford a few dollars and want to do the story yourself. See here for more.

May you continue to find inspiration and motivation to tell your story!

November 11, 2004

Veterans Day and Your Life is Your Story salutes our members of the Armed Forces, past and present. War is not glorious, but service and sacrifice can be.

Be sure to check out our updated Highlight Site page for information on the Veterans History Project. This ongoing project was created to preserve the stories of our veterans.

November 9, 2004

Here's another great story forwarded to me. It's something to consider.

Lovely Rose at 87

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being. She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze. "Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.

She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids..."

"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age

"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know."

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets"

She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose."

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be. When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it! These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.


We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

November 3, 2004

So the Election is over and President Bush has been re-elected. It was a record turnout at the polls and it is good that so many people participated in the voter process. Did you vote? If so, good for you!

Now that the campaigning is over (often divisive and bitter) let's all move forward and look for ways to live and work together. The United States has many challenges. We each have challenges. Life is full of challenges.

Life is also everyone's story. History is made up of events big and small. Part of our life story has been this Presidential election. Reflect on it. Consider its place in your story.

 Everybody has a story to tell!
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