Friday, November 26, 2010
I've been thinking about this for a while now, but have recently committed to exploring a new avenue of writing. You may recall me blogging about my kind-hearted neighbor who, even in the midst of personal tragedy, still exemplified exceptional kindness and generosity. Well, her husband passed away shortly after that post and, since then, I've been able to learn a bit more about her.
We've spent time talking about her childhood, her love story and her family. As a student of history, she's captivated me with her personal vignettes. I didn't take long for me to offer to document her personal history for the benefit of her family and future generations. Her response, though heart-warming, shocked me a bit. At first, she was reluctant to acknowledge that anyone would be interested in her story. She also said that she and her husband talked about how they never wrote any of their memories down. After hearing that, I was 100% on board.
We're starting the process next week and I'm really excited about it. I plan on interviewing her 2-3 different times, transcribing her feedback, editing it and producing a complete history in bound-book form (along with a CD of the audio recordings). If it goes well, I may offer these services professionally for other families and individuals.
So, what are your thoughts? Have you considered documenting your own personal history, or the history of an aging relative? Do you think preserving personal history (in hard copy form) is important? Why or why not?