A couple of weeks ago I was out running errands and listening to NPR on the car radio. Garrison Keillor was doing a one night show over at the performing arts center in Scottsdale and NPR was promoting his appearance through a radio interview. I gotta tell you Garrison Keillor is a liberal whom I love. Love his radio show and love his humor. Of course my favorite is his weekly ten minute talk about Lake Wobegon, his mythical home town.
The radio host asked Garrison, "so how's things in Lake Wobegon? And Keillor answered with what I thought was a thoughtful and provocative response. He said "don't know them that well because I never took the time to get to know them when I was growing up there".
Now Keillor was really talking about his own home town, his own family and friends. And that got me to thinking again about how sad it is that the young aren't curious to learn about family lore..until the folks they should have asked, have passed on! As I've related often, I was just the opposite; I drove my mom, my uncles and aunts and grandparents crazy asking them to tell me stories from long ago. After a time they would actually get irritated because I could never hear enough.
Sadly, most young folks are not like that. They are so busy living in the here and now, so enraptured with the latest trends, that they never think to pick the brains of the family seniors, to learn more about their heritage.
And, even with all the family stories I can remember and talk about, I am still impoverished. Long after my Uncle Floyd has passed, despite our many hours of talk, I regret not asking him about his World War II experiences. But my memory bank is also limited because of the limited heritage my own seniors could transmit to me...for they too were too concerned about "now" and had so little interest in "yesterday".
So aside from bits and pieces about my great grandma or great grandpa, my family lore is limited to the two generations who came before me. To me this is tragic.
I have often touted that the added advantage of my blog is that, in addition to my chronicling the events of the day, I am also writing about personal experiences and writing about family history. Some day my kids, when they really get interested, will have a source for family history.
So, to my readers, I'm asking that we all "kick it up a notch"...let's reach out to each other a bit more, share a bit of ourselves and get to know each other a bit better. Accordingly, let's begin that effort by having you all sit down, write a piece about your favorite Thanksgiving or your favorite Christmas..and explain why...put some meat on the bones of it and let us peek into your heart a bit!
How to do that? Write your letter, try to keep it no more than three pages or so, and tell us about your favorite holiday. Send that to me via email and I'll then copy and paste, and print your little vignette on my blog for all to read. Please don't worry that you are not a "writer"...some of the most poignant and meaningful things I've read were amateurish, but straight from the heart. Let's get started and I'll print one or two of your stories each week on my blog right through December!
And, in the spirit of sharing, to both the young and old, I urge you to reach out to your family and friends, to share your life experiences..the young need to hear it so that they can carry on the family lore..and the old need to know that their life has been meaningful, that there are deep roots beneath you!
P.S. Get me some more "followers!" I was encouraged to see Craig's List has lifted the ban on embedded Internet links so I can again promote my blog which increases the chances that his blog will continue beyond January...if I can get those "followers" to justify a continuance....now go get to those stories...that's your first homework assignment I've ever given you. Your deadline is now until 15 December!