Tag Archives: write my story

Finding a way


Happy time along the carriage trails at Acadia

Hiking poles? Check. Maps? Check. Water? Check. Ice? Spray bottle with water? Check. Wait, am I going to carry all that for a simple hike or bike ride? Well, when a person is unable to sweat, as I am, yes, indeed, it’s all pretty important. Continue reading

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Joe DiPietro reflects on being a first generation immigrant, teaching and more

Joe DiPietroJoe DiPietro has been a fixture in the Bellingham, MA educational program for as long as many of us can remember. He was the superintendent of Bellingham Schools his last five years in the school system, and before that he taught high school, was a guidance director and spent twenty-five years as elementary school principal of South School Elementary, Pinecrest, Keough, the old South School and Assumption School when it was under the purview of the Bellingham School Department. [As told to Marjorie Turner Hollman] Continue reading

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Storyteller’s Techniques Help Students Create and Save Stories

Blog Post published by Association of Personal Historians, (APH) by Marjorie Turner Hollman

As personal historians, we’re usually focused on saving stories, not just telling stories. But my experience as a professional storyteller is inextricably intertwined with the work I do now as a writer, so I called on many tricks I learned when I was performing to teach a summer writing class for children at my local library. Read more…


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 2nd edition,” 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://www.marjorieturner.com



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There’s no Place like Home

Barbara Eldredge Eltzroth has lived in Bellingham her entire life. She and her brothers grew up directly across from the First Baptist church in the center of town at the corner of 126 and 140. In those days almost anything they might need was within walking distance of their house.

 I don’t think I did much exciting growing up, sitting on our front porch and watching the army trucks go by on Saturday mornings. Continue reading

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Harpin Recalls Adventurous, Mischievous Times

Courtesy Bellingham Bulletin by Marjorie Turner Hollman

Roland Harpin cropped head shotRoland Harpin was born and raised in Bellingham, and other than his military service and ten years in California, he has lived in this area his whole life.He now lives in Blackstone and has been a home builder, architectural designer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Semi-retired, he is working on his latest business venture, ProSaver Cards, which offer discounts on services from hundreds of area merchants.He sat down in his office in Hopedale recently to talk about growing up in Bellingham. [As told to Marjorie Turner Hollman]

Poirier Street in South Bellingham, where I lived from 1951, was a dead-end street. The cul de sac was added later, along with more houses. Just through the woods at the end of the street is a brook, part of the Peter’s River. We had plenty of fun there, playing with frogs and snakes. Continue reading

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Jeanne Kempton remembers Bellingham

Jeanne Thayer Kempton has lived in Bellingham her whole life. Many people know Jeanne from her days as the secretary at Clara Macy School Elementary School. On top of her secretarial duties she also played the piano for school functions. She started getting involved in elections as a clerk, back in 1949. These days you’ll see Jeanne working at the polls on election days, or playing the piano for weeknight services at the First Baptist Church. [As told to Marjorie Turner Hollman]

I was born in the house right next door to where I live now in Bellingham. My grandfather owned the Thayer General store—the building that is still right across from the police station in the center of town. The [present day] nail salon was the horse barn. Continue reading

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Kathryn Whiting: Growing up with a mother who loved all of her children

Many people in Bellingham know Kathryn Whiting and her husband George from when they ran for many years Country Charm, a hair dressing salon on South Main Street. George was born in Bellingham while Kathryn moved here from New York when she was six months old. Both Kathryn and George grew up here in Bellingham, met in high school, married and raised a family here. Kathryn spoke to Marjorie Turner Hollman about her mother who was widowed when Kathryn was six years old, and the challenging life her mother led as a single parent.12-4-27 George, kathryn

My father had a successful upholstery business in New York City and met my mother there, where she was a registered nurse. My father was from the Boston area and took sick when I was just a tiny baby. Because of his illness he lost his business in New York. They came back here to Bellingham when I was six months old. Continue reading

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Ida Hood Parker—Electricity Comes to Bellingham, and Simple Stories of Farm Life

Ida Hood Parker has lived nearly her whole life in Bellingham. She has lost two beloved husbands, seen many changes, and is still ready to make new friends. She shared some stories with Marjorie of growing up in Bellingham and has clearly retained her sense of humor. The following is an edited version of the conversation Ida and Marjorie had in Ida’s home.

The day electricity came to town here in Bellingham everyone else but me was in school, so I stood alone on the front steps as they put the poles in on South Main Street (where I lived), one pole after the other. I was five years old. The workers had to trim so many trees to get the wires through. Continue reading

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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.  http://tinyurl.com/cwk3prv 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

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Storyreading, Storytelling and Story Writing

Workshop: Story reading, Storytelling, and Story writing:

Enriching Classroom Literacy through Story

 Reading vs. telling stories, Storytelling, Story Writing

Veteran Storyteller Marjorie Turner Hollman shares some simple ways to increase classroom literacy experiences through Story. This hands-on participatory workshop will make it clear that everyone—even the littlest ones—has stories to tell. We’ll learn ways to help grownups and children experience the joy of sharing stories. This workshop focuses on story reading, storytelling, and story writing, and the opportunities, and simple tools that can enhance literacy experiences in the classroom. Class time duration is negotiable.


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.

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