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October, 2007

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October 29, 2007

The Red Sox Nation (and I consider myself a card-carrying member) is rejoicing over the Major League Baseball Championship captured by the Boston Red Sox.  Last night the Sox completed a four game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.  This is the second championship in four seasons for the Bosox.  In 2004 the four game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals gave them their first World Series title in 86 years.  That was very sweet for long-suffering fans. But this championship feels great, too!

Congratulations to the Colorado Rockies organization and their fans.  They had a great season, winning 21 of their last 22 games to get to the World Series. While their ball club doesn't have the notoriety of some other franchises they showed they are a talented group and a very good team. They should continue to be successful.

In less historic news, the latest issue of the Your Life is Your Story e-zine is out.  This free monthly newsletter is available to anyone - sign up here. Or you can read the new issue online here.

October 26, 2007

Here in New Mexico we've had warmer than normal temperatures for this time of year, a trend that has also taken place across much of the country, including back east.  But the cooler nights have settled in recently and as a result the Autumn colors are peaking.  Golden aspens are quite the sight!

Memorable sights are embedded in our brains.  Video can be a tremendous trigger of memories.  It can also be a great way to preserve special moments and family stories.  There are a number of life story video professionals to choose from.  I've recommended a few, including Stellar Media.  The team of Eric and Marian Larson (and their dedicated staff) have created a number of high quality video projects for their satisfied customers.  They have also recently updated and revised their website.  Go here and check out samples of their work from their home page.

October 24, 2007

This year marks forty years of my life spent faithfully following and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.  It all started for me in 1967.  That was the year the great Carl Yastrzemski won the Triple Crown (leader in batting average, hits and runs batted in).  That's a very rare accomplishment in baseball.  In fact, nobody has done it since.

Boston also won the American League pennant that season, but went on to lose the World Series in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals.  Oddly enough, we lived near Little Rock, Arkansas at the time.  My dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base.  Little Rock had a AA minor league team, the Arkansas Travelers.  Their parent club? The St. Lousi Cardinals.  So, I was the only 5th grader at my school rooting for the Red Sox.

I'm not exactly sure how I became a Red Sox fan.  My mom was born and raised in Boston.  That probably had something to do with it, although I never lived there.  Dad was born in New York City. I suppose I could as easily have become a Yankee fan.  What a strange twist there!

I was an avid baseball fan as a kid (still am!) and I played ball from age 9 to 18.  I'm a lefty and I use to emulate Yastrzemski's stance.  He would hold his bat up high above his head, the left arm and elbow elevated as he menancingly stared down the pitcher.  And like Yaz, I played the outfield.  I loved many of the other players on the team, too.  I would pore over the box scores in the newspaper each day.  In addition to Yaz, there was Tony Conigliaro, Rico Petrocelli, George Scott, Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson, Reggie Smith and others. The pitching staff was led by Jim Longborg who won 22 games that season.

Over the years I went through the ups and downs of being a Bosox fan.  So many close calls. Some great and thrilling World Series. The heartbreak. And finally the overwhelming joy of an impossible comback against the Yankees and on to a sweep over the Cardinals in the 2004 Series.

Tonight this year's World Series gets underway.  Boston against Colorado. Some are calling the Rockies "Destiny's Darlings". They finished the season with an amazing run to win the National League Wild Card and haven't looked back, sweeping their opponents and winning 21 out of their last 22 games.  I tried like crazy the past two days to buy tickets for a game in Denver. It would have been a fantastic road trip for my son (Eric, 13) and I.  All the tickets were sold online and I spent hours trying, but it was not to be.

Just the same, we will watch the series on TV and root for Beckett, Papi, Papelbon, Manny, Youkilis, Captain V-tek and the rest!  I love being part of the Red Sox nation.  Baseball is truly for me "America's Pasttime".

October 20, 2007

Angela Zusman has been working for severla months on a project involving the Oakland Asian Cultural Center to manage their oral history project of Oakland Chinatown.  It is the first intergenerational oral history project of Chinatown, an ambitious effort that has recently received press coverage from the Oakland Tribune (story here).

Here's another fine example of the importance of preserving elders' stories before they are forever lost.  It has special significance for the ethnic history of Bay Area Asian immigrants and their families. Some of the stories from the various interviews tell of the history of Oakland Chinatown, the Asian immigration experience, family, roots and heritage.  As twenty-one year old Sandy Liao discovered, the stories are inspirational and help connect the dots of history.

By the way, October is known as Family History Month for many genealogists (more here).

October 14, 2007

As you go through the stuff you own and discover items you no longer want, what do you do?  Throw them away or hold a garage sale?  Perhaps.  But there is another way to recycle those things.  Head over to and discover The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,142 groups with 3,957,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free.

October 8, 2007

According to fellow APH (Association of Personal Historians) member Jim Taulman (Familystories-4-U  in Franklin, Tennessee), the StoryCorps' Mobile booth tour is heading to Nashville.  It will be located in the Nashville Public Library (615 Church Street in downtown Nashville) making it accessible to nearly everyone. This will be great timing for all the APH members who plan to be in Nashville for this year's annual conference.

I've written about StoryCorps before.  It is evident they are growing and doing a fine job of recording the life stories of everyday people.  More here at

In related Tennessee news, Jane Baxter, this year's conference program chair for the APH conference, got some media coverage about her Roots & Branches Productions company in the Tennessean and you can read it online here.

October 3, 2007

Rare indeed are those magical moments when rock n' roll performed on stage becomes a transcendental moment.  Such was the case years ago in Oklahoma City.  I was still in college and accompanied by a group of college buddies we headed to the Civic Arena to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

It was 1975 and The Boss had just appeared on the covers of both Newsweek and Time magazines.  Bruce and his amazing band of rockin' musicians, many who'd been teenage friends in Jersey, were bringing both passion and fun back to rock.  Born to Run came out and the sound of those songs on the radio gave voice to our gypsy rebel hearts.

That show in Oklahoma City has remained a top three favorite all my life, and that's after many, many concerts.  I've followed Springsteen through his career, from band efforts to solo efforts, and even had the rare privilege of meeting him after a Detroit solo performance.  Now Bruce and the E. Street Band are back with a new release, "Magic", and a tour.  Last night's performance in Hartford must have been another one of those magical nights, judging by the reviews (here's one and another).

Music has the power to tap into something in our souls that makes us feel more alive and to strive for something better.  Not always, but sometimes.  It's good to have the Boss and his group doing it again.

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