by Pam Pacelli Cooper
President, Verissima Productions
I’ve been wracking my brain for the last few weeks, trying to think about what to write for my December blog. There are thousands of excellent blogs about gift giving and personal history including more “Listicles” than I can count. I don’t have any better ideas that those already posted, and I encourage everyone interested in preserving their lives to make a Google search.
What I finally settled on was thinking about the devastation that has visited so many places during the past few months — fire and flood and wind and war. Not the sort of thing one likes to think about at a normally festive time of year.
Yet I am thinking about it, and I am imagining all of the stories lost in the embers of the Ventura fires, all of the curled and sodden photographs floating in streams somewhere far from their original homes in Houston and Puerto Rico. I am also thinking of refugees ripped from their customs and their families, forced into new and alien cultures.
I realized that I could be one of these people tomorrow. Some of my friends already are these people. I started wondering if there might be a way I could have helped them preserve their precious memories…and I came with a thought that might help us protect our stories while also helping those of us who care about these things to become better connected to each other.
The essence is simply, you tell me your story and I will tell you mine. We can safely store each others’ stories, in our archives…and in our memories. Like 21st century pen pals, we can protect our stories and get to know one another better in the process. We could do this with one partner…or in a group.
This doesn’t have to be done in a fancy way. It could be a written document, or simply something recorded on a smartphone. It can be held on our computers, or stored in our homes. It could also include photos but it’s really about preserving the story.
It would be a kindness to one another, and a kindness to history…and it’s free.
We’ll be back in January. Maybe with a “listicle” or two.