Back in the year 2000, a series of profiles of American centenarians debuted on National Public Radio (NPR) called “One Hundred Years of Stories.” Producer Neenah Ellis later translated those profiles into a book called If I Live to be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians. Ellis recognized that there are more 100-year-olds alive now than any other time in our nation’s history. The audio version of this book features the voices of the seniors from all over the country who Ellis interviewed. For more about the series and its subjects, visit http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/100years.html .
We won’t all live to be 100, but seniors certainly have diverse stories to tell. NPR listeners tuned in throughout the year to hear the stories told by complete strangers who had lived through prosperous and tumultuous times. Many of us have grown up listening to stories from the lives of cherished friends and family members. There is a growing industry of professionals or personal historians who work to ensure that life lessons are preserved and passed down to younger generations. They can craft questions and shape responses to develop an effective narrative in the form of a video or autobiographical writings.
So why do people feel the need to record their personal histories? Many retirees have to overcome the physical distance that exists between them and their grandchildren who might reside out of state. With the passing of many who lived through the World War II era, the Baby Boomer generation is feeling a need to capture memories that will be valuable to their children living in a very different society—one impacted by the boom of the internet and technology.
Take the time to reflect on your own personal story and the stories that have been told and re-told to you, thereby shaping your worldviews. To learn more about different forms of personal history preservation, or to find a personal historian that could help you tell your story, visit the site for the Association of Personal Historians, at http://www.personalhistorians.org/. Their blog features 20 reasons why you should write your family history.
At Weatherby & Associates, PC, we support your goal to protect what has taken a lifetime to build. It is with that same pride that we aim to assist our clients with their legal needs. If you have any questions, please contact us at 860-769-6938.