A World War II veteran and longtime pastor has published his life
story. Like many people, he's had a life of struggles and of fruit. He
was a depression era baby and lived in poverty. Both his parents had
disabling accidents early in his life so he spent time in an orphanage
and foster homes. He lied about his age to enlist in the Navy at 15.
After the war he joined the Marine Corps and while stationed in China
he was run over by a two-and-a-half ton truck. It crushed his legs and
tore his hips out of their sockets. Today at 82 the injuries still
That experience in China led him to a calling to become a pastor. He
and his wife, Violet, have overseen a number of churches
including one over a hundred years old that he helped restore.
Paul Justice's life story is one worth telling. Julie McDonald Zander,
a personal historian (Chapters of Life), tells it in
Paul's voice in his just published
by Grace: Delivered from hell to heaven. Read
from the Lewis County, Washington The Chronicle.
of our personal history revolves around food. Many cultures and places
have traditional foods that become the subject of much discussion and
part of family gatherings.
Nearly all of us who call New
Mexico home (both native and transplants)
have a great affinity for eating chile. I'm not talking about the beans
and meat with sauce you find in Texas or the other "so-called"
varieties you might run across in other places. I'm speaking of the
honest-to-goodness green chile grown, harvested and devoured right here
in the Land of Enchantment.
It can be somewhat addicting, but I don't see harm in it. Actually, the
chile is good for you - and sure tastes great in many of our
traditional dishes. These include chicken enchiladas made with with green chile and using blue corn tortillas topped with cheese and
onions and a fried egg (yum). Or try cheese baked inside a
green chile for a delicious chile relleno. Then there are the multiply
varieties of green chile stew (it is not uncommon for great debates to
break out over who makes the best. And a breakout of sweating from
those who get to sample the hot and tasy treat!).
When green chiles ripen they turn red. Dried red chile is used in a
number of dishes and is also very tasty.
You may be aware that I've discovered a number of quality video
biography companies. Video is another fine medium to capture a life
story and often can be an excellent companion piece to a written
biography or memoir (more).
Family Voices Media (see
is New York based company and creates high quality
treasures for generations to come". They produce professional and
in-depth family history videos. A recent client was very grateful that
family project was completed before her eldest brother passed away. Yet
another reminder to all to preserve family history while we can.
In the days since the death of Senator Edward Kennedy we are learning
more about his spirit of compassion and consideration for others,
especially people on the margins (the poor, sick, homeless, etc). And
we are also learning how over a half century he recorded notes and kept
diaries of his encounters with others that went into his memoir, True Compass.
Ted Kennedy had his faults. Don't we all? But he lived life fully and
he kept growing and transforming his life until the very end. He did it
with family and friends at his side and even his critics have to admit
he did a lot of good work.
A USA Today
story speaks about his just released memoir (read it here).
Now that I am going to be a first-time grandfather I find myself
checking out information that normally I wouldn't. Like the
Grandparenting section of AARP.org.
One of the articles I came across at that section was about music
transcending the generations. Now everyone knows each generation has
the music they love and is their own (often to the distress of their
parents - "turn that music down!" was frequently shouted down the hall
to my room when I was in High School). Nevertheless, there is music
that we can share and it can bridge the gaps in generations and help us
appreciate the culture and history of the times the music was composed
in. It can also help us grow in understanding each other and even share
It helps when there are certain artists who seem timeless. You can
point to the classical masters (Bethoven, Bach, Chopin) or to groups
like the Beatles (current interest being fueled by the release of their
remastered albums and the version of the popular ROck Band video game,
"Beatles Rock Band").
My children (21 and 15) like some of the same music I grew up with. No
doubt my many years as a radio DJ and my vast music collection have
influenced them. I get a kick out of my son's guitar playing - he likes
a lot of heavy classic rock.
Amy Goyer wrote in The
Beat Goes On about her friends, Karen and Phil.
They've experienced past concerts with Amy, but now they are taking
their 3-year old grandson along and he is learning about rock n' roll,
mardi gras jazz music and more.
How Do You Honor and Remember 9-11?
Today marks the 8 year anniversary of 9/11. Each successive 9/11 since
the tragic day in 2001 sparkes memories and
memorials. I hope that we all continue to honor our heroes - especially
those who deal with danger each day like firefighters, law enforcement,
medical professionals, those in the military, chaplains and so on.
The memories of that day are etched into our collective consciousness.
But do you take time to recall it and how it has affected your life? I
remember vividly arriving at work and discovering the events
transpiring in New York City, Washington DC and Pennsylvania (Flight
93). Oddly, I had not watched or listened to the news that morning.
Usually I do, but that day I was in more of a meditative and reflective
mood. So I didn't know what was happening until an hour after the
attacks on the World Trade Centers.
Since that day I've encountered many people whose lives were directly
affected. I have friends who live in NYC. One told me about looking out
the highrise of his office building at the smoke all morning. My
brother had been working in the World Trade Center complex until about
two years before that fateful day. Imagine the emotions he had.
Of course nothing I've experienced comes anywhere close to those
personally impacted. Families, children, co-workers, colleagues who all
were there or nearby and who lost loved ones have suffered a lot. We
should always honor and remember the fallen and help the survivors.
I don't have any hate in my heart for the countries where the
terrorists came from. I don't blame the Islamic religion. I recognize
that the dispicable terrorist acts were done by a radical fringe.
I look for a world that someday will be one in
peace and action. We can have our differences and our cultures - but we
all share in the preciousness and sanctity of life.
I've frequently mentioned the Association of Personal Historians.
The APH is
a non-profit group of wonderful people working in all areas and
genres of personal history. This includes, but is not limited to,
writers, videographers, oral historians, transcribers, book binders,
printers, consultants, coaches and digital entrepreneurs.
One of the guiding lights of the APH has passed away. Bob Joyce, APH's
second president, passed way August 23, 2009 at the age of 73. He was a
charter member of the group in 1995, was involved for many years in
various roles and wrote three acclaimed personal historian reference
Story Wizard: A Style and Grammar Handbook for Personal Historians,
and Moments to
Remember: America's Songbook. In 2004 the APH board of
directors presented him with a Lifetime Honorary Membership.
Like many other members, Bob Joyce came into the field of personal
history as a second career. He held a masters in engineering and taught
for more than thirty years at University of La Verne. His legacy to his
family, clients and fellows in the personal history field is important
and appreciated. You can visit his Orange County Register online
obituary with guest book.
Back in April of this year renowned physicist Stephen Hawking got the
chance to fly in a plane that can put you into weightlessness for 30
seconds at a time. Space Florida and The Sharper Image were responsible
for the flight and gave him eight parabolas to experience zero gravity.
It must have been tremendous for this very intelligent man who's been
confined to a wheelchair and speaks through a computer because he has
ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease).
We should never let limitations hold us back. Hawking is an inspiring
example of someone who has pushed beyond his physical limitations. We
all have certain gifts. Are you cultivating yours and sharing it with