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The "Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives

Read about quality family history and life story news, views, methods, products, links, services

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November, 2005

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November 30, 2005

The Legacies/Solana Beach Youth/Elder Story Art Project in Northern San Diego has matched up young people with local elders to preserve their personal history. What a great project! It teaches young people about personal history and they discover the treasure of life stories from elders. I'm sure it is appreciated by the elders, too. The project honors the community's elders and documents their contributions through art books created by the students.

Here's a link to an article about this project at

Legacies is a cross-generational project produced by StoryArts Inc., a nonprofit group of artists and custom publishers based in Encinitas. You can see more at their website - here.

November 27, 2005

I discovered this too late to tell you about in advance of the holiday, but Thanksgiving 2005 was declared the second annual National Family History Day by the Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H. He considers your family history - your family health history - to be very important. Yes, common sense tells us that we need to know what runs in our families, particularly when it is a health concern.

Whenever families gather, the Surgeon General encourages them to talk about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in their family. Learning about your family's health history may help ensure a longer future together. Certainly the holidays are an opportune time to do that.

See more about the U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative here.

November 23, 2005

History tells us the first Thanksgiving was in 1691 at Plymouth Rock when a ragtag group of surviving early settlers from Europe ate a harvest meal with Native Americans who had helped them. What a strange journey tradition has taken. Today many think it's all about turkey, football and shopping.

At the heart of it Thanksgiving is about family and gratitude. About celebrating living — through the good times and bad. Being grateful for what we have instead of being obsessed with what we don't is the better way. Have an attitude of gratitude.

Another year is coming to an end. What's it been like for you? Are you going to share the journey with others, especially family members? A family newsletter is a good way to do that. Find out more.

November 20, 2005

Memoir writing continues to grow in popularity. A heartfelt written memoir can touch others on a deep level, especially when it deals with loss and grief. Joan Didion, an author whose most recent work is "The Year of Magical Thinking" has received the National Book Award for nonfiction for this memoir. The story deals with the sudden death of her husband, writer John Dunne, who died while Didion tended to her daughter's severe illness, and the couple's life together. Didion's daughter passed away after the book was completed.

More here

November 17, 2005

Do you remember the Television show "This is Your Life"? Ralph Edwards would surprise guests by getting them to show up under some other pretense and then have a number of friends come on and tell stories and there was a general reminiscence on someone's life. While most people remember it as a show that put a celebrity in the spotlight it frequently had everyday people on. It was a very popular show and there is even talk of it coming back in a new incarnation with Regis Philbin as host.

Ralph Edwards was an esteemed broadcaster who started in radio at the age of sixteen in the San Francisco area. He is best remembered as the host of "This is Your Life" and also the game show, "Truth or Consequences" until Bob Barker succeeded him. On a side note, here in New Mexico a small town changed their name years ago to Truth or Consequences because of the show. Mr. Edwards passed away in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the age of 92. He's remembered as a gentleman as well as a professional broadcaster.

The idea of "This is Your Life" certainly resonates with the theme of this site. I'm always telling people that you have an interesting life story - that your life is indeed your story!

The San Jose Mercury News has a fine tribute online to Ralph Edwards. Read it here.

November 16, 2005

The Thanksgiving Holiday is only a week away! This year give thanks and thought to your family gathering. Preserve some memories by more than snapping a couple of photographs. Gather loved ones around and make time to share stories. Run a tape recorder or write down notes. Better yet, encourage everyone to write a short (one page or so) essay on what they are thankful for or what their favorite Thanksgiving memory is.

November 12, 2005

The Association of Personal Historians held their annual conference recently. This year the conference was in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I lived there for a few years and it is a good city in Western Michigan with many solid citizens that support the community and culture. Unfortunately, business obligations kept me away from the conference, but I've seen much praise from members who did attend. The Grand Rapids Press wrote an article about the conference and the growing APH (now well over 500 members) that you can see here.

The growing use of video for life story recollections was profiled in the November 3 issue of the Arizona Daily Star, including a nod to Steve Pender of Family Legacy Video, Inc. (a past highlight site of Your Life is Your Story - here). You can see that article here.

The increasing media attention to personal history preservation shows that the trend is growing and I don't see that slowing any time soon. There are lots of ways to tell your story and I hope you are exploring them.

November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day is a day to remember all those members of the Armed Forces who have served over the years. Many have mad the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives.

War should always be a last resort and it never seems to really bring a spirit of peace. Nonetheless, the many veterans of wars have some powerful experiences and preserving them is part of the Veterans History Project. I've featured it before as a past highlight site and you can see that info here.

Everybody has a story to tell!
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