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?
Our world is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. Families are scattered across the country and even the globe. People have connectivity overload yet lack connection. The work of personal historians is more important than ever, and I’m excited to be right in the middle of it all.
The picture above shows my grandfather on the left, my father in the middle using his hands telling a hunting story, and my mother on the right. Hunting is the most sacred tradition in our family. When the Haby family came to Texas from Alsace they hunted and provided meat for the other families in the Castro Colonies. We still make our own deer sausage today, and it’s fresher and more organic than anything you’ll find in Whole Foods.
I prefer happiness so I enjoy focusing on positive stories, but when I’m helping someone develop their life story I have to put my personal preference aside. For future generations, what is real can be for more valuable than what we wish had happened.
After I got off the phone with my mother I went back out to the Bonfire site. Most every class was cancelled but we wouldn’t have attended anyway. We stood at the perimeter ready to go in and help if we were needed. I couldn’t tell you what time we left later that day because time ceased to matter.
If you approach people with sincere love and understanding they will start to trust you. This results in a film that delivers the real person.
From the earliest days of StoryKeeping, we’ve helped the cameras fade away in order to capture the most sincere, powerful storytelling possible. The first StoryKeeping session inspired the full range of emotion, and every production since has delivered the same.
StoryKeeping has taken some leaps and bounds in 2016, and just took another big one.
I first noticed Fred while filming his grandson’s wedding earlier this year. You couldn’t miss him because he stood up during the ceremony to recite a poem he’d written for the couple. The poem was witty, wise, and sincere.