When you have a bunch of kids, sometimes you need to whistle to get their attention!
Working as a personal historian, I never know what it will take to get someone talking. Some folks easily call up memories, while others need the stories drawn out of them. And then sometimes, all it takes is a whistle. MTH
It was just a whistle—I looked around but saw no one whistling, and the woman behind the desk was fussing with her phone. I finally asked her—“Were you whistling?” Continue reading
Here’s a fun conversation I had recently with Liz Myska of Worcester, who invited me to appear on her “Connecting the Dots” community cable show. We talked about personal histories, and our love of the outdoors. Liz is visually impaired and advocates for the elderly and disabled in her capacity as a lawyer. She is also a great friend.
Sharing stories between generations is magic, no matter the form those stories take
Here’s a recent blog post I shared, of discovering the connections between the performing Storytelling world and the community of Personal Historians. The most important commonality? Story magic.
Do you have family or friends who love the outdoors but have limited mobility? Here’s information about a tool that could make a difference, allowing you to say “Yes” to sharing some beloved “Easy Walks” to more of the beautiful places in south central Massachusetts that many of us call home. For others who are not as lucky to live here, this tool will work where you are too!
Here’s to getting outdoors, making memories, and strengthening ties between family and friends.
Marjorie Turner Hollman
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, Easy Walks in Massachusetts, and More Easy Walks in Massachusetts. A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! New England Regional Chair for the Association of Personal Historians, she is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://marjorieturner.com
Here I am with Dad, ready to work on his stories
As our parents age, we often fret about “What do you give someone who has everything?” But there is another side of this equation. What does an increasingly frail elder have to give when getting out is more difficult? Money may be in short supply, energy is diminished; in short, elders often feel increasingly like they have nothing to give. Continue reading
At the ocean–Gooseberry Island, Westport, MA
Members of my family all grew up near the ocean. Whenever we are able to get to the shore, we each take a big sniff and announce, “Smells like the ocean.” Tradition? I guess, if you understand “tradition” as being something that is repeated with significance beyond the actual act, something that brings long-held family experiences up to the present. Continue reading
Stone marker near parking area at Lane Conservation area, Foxboro, MA
Neponset reservoir, viewed along the trails of Lane Conservation area
When I first set out on my quest to document very local trails in the towns near where I live, I kept wondering what this had to do with my work as a personal historian. Surely these were two separate parts of me. Perhaps my life was headed in a different direction that I had thought. But slowly, in my travels I’ve come to realize that walking the trails and properties of south central Massachusetts is often a lesson in history, a tracing of family life, of walking the same track as many who have gone before me.
While visiting a new (to me) property in Foxboro, MA yesterday, I encountered not one, but two markers, memorials along the way. Continue reading
One of my dad’s first letters to the woman who would be his wife for the coming 50 years
I’ve been a personal historian for a number of years, and have seen how powerful the experience of documenting and preserving one’s family stories can be. We personal historians often talk about the gift of passing on family stories to the next generation, assuring that you’re not forgotten and more. But I never realized that doing the work of preserving your family legacy—the photos that tell stories, documents, letters, and the stories themselves—can actually be a powerful time machine. Continue reading