Do you know anyone with a story to tell? In the words of Max Ehrmann, ‘listen to others…they too have their story’. What happens if the story isn’t recorded? Is it lost forever?
Since childhood I have cared about preserving people’s stories. As we ‘shuffle off this mortal coil’, our stories go with us. Those left behind get on with living and creating memories of their own. The tragedy for me is when those who have lead meaningful existences pass on, taking their lives and their memories with them. Pieces of history lost forever.
Story of an Evacuee
I have lived in this Cambridgeshire village for over 19 years, in that time we have developed friendships with people throughout the community. One of my dog walking buddies talks about his experiences as an evacuee in World War II. For years I have encouraged him to record it, he has desperately wanted to, but it just hadn’t happened, you know how it is. The time was right, and a local publication needed a new article, so my friend and I sat down and preserved his story.
Word got out. The local primary school were learning about the war, ‘crocodile lines’ of children had walked to the local train station carrying their ‘gas mask boxes’ to be evacuated. If only they could meet a real evacuee… So an amazing afternoon was spent seated under a tree, answering a multitude of questions from enthusiastic budding historians.
The Work Continues
The editor of the magazine has contacted me asking if I could write a regular feature. My next project is a ‘Village Elder’ who has lived here all his life. He knows stuff, I can’t wait to share it. Another lovely post about making people feel good here.