I mentioned that I’ve become a member of the Association of Personal Historians, and I just listened to an interesting “This I Believe” audio story by Stefani Twyford, one of its members, on Houston Public Radio. She talks about family stories and working as a personal historian. From her essay:
Each time I coax a story out of a client, I am excited at the richness of each person’s experience. When the son or daughter of a subject says, “I’ve never heard that! How did you get that story out of her?” I glow inside and feel that I have worked the magic that is my job. I rejoice when extended families get together to watch the video biographies I’ve created for them. And when I hear how many boxes of tissues were needed while viewing the video, a part of me gets emotional, even though it isn’t my family or my story.
It’s an honor and a privilege to help people tell their stories and put it down on a medium that will last. I know that when a great-grandchild asks, “Who was my great-grandfather?” there will be not only a photo and a story, but the child will hear his great grandfather’s voice, see his mannerisms, and hear those stories first-hand.
She really captures the magic of capturing people’s stories and preserving them for future generations.