Category Archives: Personal History- first person interviews and published excerpts

First person interviews and published excerpts

Make Your Own Storybook Walk with Teens–Milford Youth Center


Greating ready to head out at the MilfordYouth Center

We have been hosting Make Your Own Storybook walks since last January, and I keep being surprised at how much fun participants have, regardless of their age or ability. We have had grandparents, babes in arms, (well, backpack carriers), little ones who have not yet learned to read, and school age children as well. We  have had adults of varying abilities, parents juggling several children, and my buddies who are visually impaired (or VIPs–Visually Impaired Person as they prefer to be referred to).

In the midst of all this variety, and having offered the program at different locations, I hadn’t quite realized the common theme; if there is a dead or dying fish on the scene, it’s going to end up in many if not most of the stories that are shared that day. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks, Personal History- first person interviews and published excerpts

Fun in the Snow–Upton State Forest Make Your Own Storybook hike

Group picture

Happy smiles after a walk in the snow at Upton State Forest

I got some questions about whether we would cancel the Make Your Own storybook Hike scheduled for Upton State Forest. There had been (yet another!) nor’easter that had dumped up to 20 inches of snow in some areas, including Upton. But the snow was fluffy, and Division of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) staff members, Jody Madden and Kathryn Parent, were partnering with us for this event and did an amazing job plowing and shoveling so we could access parking and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) building, where we managed sign-ins and made our own books after our walk. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks, Personal History- first person interviews and published excerpts

Self-Publishing 101


Lots of self-published books to browse at the recent “Self-publishing 101” workshop I conducted

The world of self-publishing has opened up a world of possibility, especially for those of us who simply want to share family stories with our loved ones, or have an idea, but are not willing to jump through the hoops to convince a more traditional publisher of the worth of that idea. I started out learning about self-publishing as a way to help others easily share their family stories. Continue reading


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks, Personal History- first person interviews and published excerpts, Workshops and Presentations

Challenges and Sweet Surprises–Interviewing a Friend with Alzheimer’s

I was recently invited to write a guest post for an Alzheimer’s blog.  The invitation was prompted by an experience I had interviewing a family friend who is in middle stage Alzheimer’s. I was attempting to record her stories as she reflected on some old family photographs. After posting the audio recordings and digital photos on my friend’s family would be able to look at these family photos and hear their mom’s narration of what she recalled from the day the photos were taken. The experience offered some challenges and sweet surprises.

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal History- first person interviews and published excerpts

Vietnam in the Early 1960’s From a Serviceman’s Perspective

This interview is part of the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s Oral History Project, taped at the ABMI Studios in Bellingham, MA. Coordinator and interviewer is Marjorie Turner Hollman.

I’m grateful for each veteran who has been willing to share his or her experiences. MTH

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Veteran's Oral Histories

I Remember…Life In the Tropics

 My Dad, Don Kuhl, was born in Minnesota, but his family left there when Don was fourteen, hoping to find a place where his father could live in less pain from his arthritis. After traveling to California and finding that Don’s father still had a lot of pain—it was 1937—the family drove back across the country and finally settled in Miami, Florida. Don embraced life in South Florida, especially the easy access to the ocean. He spent many hours fishing, skin diving, and just plain enjoying the wonders of life in a tropical climate. Don died recently, at home in his favorite green chair. He was always my best listener; I will miss him.

The following are excerpts from Don’s memoir, “From Minnesota to Florida: Finding a place in the Sun—Kuhl Family Stories. Additionally, I’ve included a story Don’s sister Betty told me after Don’s memoir went to press. It gives me a hint of where our family’s sense of humor came from. MTH

Life in the Tropics: Miami, Florida in the late 1930’sFile0015Don, early twenties

Don: When I was in high school, I enjoyed skin diving in Miami with my friends. We couldn’t go out and buy commercial masks or flippers then; we had to make them ourselves. My friends had made masks, and they helped me make one for myself out of red rubber. You cut it to fit around your face, cut a piece of glass to fit your face, then used metal to hold it together. The fellows I was with right after high school had made the masks and they helped me make my spear gun. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Personal History- first person interviews and published excerpts