Karen was never ordained a minister, but as it turns out formalities are unnecessary for a successful ministry of happiness. Within moments of meeting Karen you’re sharing laughter. This was my experience when interviewing her — to the point I grew concerned whether we’d be able to document anything serious, challenging, or remotely negative in nature.
The stories you tell your grandchildren may not feature volcanic activity. The spirit of wanting a better life for our children and grandchildren remains instinct.
“Before they move” jumped into my conscious thought multiples times today. Picking up on subtlety and exploring that path often make StoryKeeping productions great. Little kernels lead to stockpiled, illuminating truth. This morning two separate people sparked my brain and inspired this post.
I started StoryKeeping in 2009 with the belief I wasn’t the only grandchild who loved their grandparents and wanted to retain their stories. I began with a single digital voice recorder in 2009 by focusing solely on audio productions.
A couple years ago I was at an Association of Personal Historians conference. I was one of a handful of men in a room full of mostly white women, and it struck me how few minorities there were in the room. Was the business of capturing legacies for white people only?
We were two weeks into the month, and while I had already hit my monthly goal there was no option but my termination. I accepted what he said. It’s not like I had another option, but after I hung up I began to question the logic.
Older generations typically don’t like the idea of talking about themselves. “Oh, nobody wants to hear me talk!” “I didn’t do anything special.” These are things StoryKeeping hears regularly. I let the storyteller know that, while the stories are about them, the reason we’re capturing their legacy has more to do with their descendants.
Over three years ago she called me upset that her father had been diagnosed with stage four leukemia, and she needed me to capture his legacy as soon as possible. Her father was receiving treatment at a local hospital, so I loaded up my gear and captured his life story over the next three afternoons.