Life Story Links: October 29, 2018


“Love is so short, forgetting so long.”
—Pablo Neruda

Kid's Bubble-Blowing Toy, 1959. Photograph by Stan Wayman for LIFE magazine. ©Time Inc.

Kid's Bubble-Blowing Toy, 1959. Photograph by Stan Wayman for LIFE magazine. ©Time Inc.

Seeing Is Believing

“A photo album, a china set, a teddy bear—even the most quotidian of artifacts—all resonate with special poignancy when associated with stories of persecution and loss,” Julia M. Klein writes of a Skokie, IL, museum exhibition called “Stories of Survival.”

Blurry photos are often the first to get deleted from your film scroll—but photographer Yan Palmer offers up another perspective.

I finally found time to screen the 2012 documentary Stories We Tell, and I recommend it as much for the dramatic exploration of one family's narrative as for the questions it raises about the malleability of truth.

Life Stories, Listening & Telling

In its 15th year StoryCorps continues to “create a culture of listening that echoes across the nation.” Resources compiled for its annual Great Thanksgiving Listen include a Great Questions List and Interview Planning Worksheet.

Sarah White of Madison–based First Person Productions shares a short essay she calls an experiment in “The Rolling Now,” a structural technique described as "like rocking back and forth between past and present."

The new National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio, which opened October 27, highlights personal stories of veterans from all branches of the military to inspire, honor, and connect.

“I used to reassure prospective clients that they could simply leave out any personal stories that were too difficult to tell, says Massachusetts–based personal historian Nancy West. “But the more people share with me, the more I begin to think that nothing is too difficult for clients to share, once they become comfortable with the process.”

...and a Few More Links


Short Takes

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I admit that I am not as good at organizing my own family history items and memorabilia as I am at managing my clients'. 😔 These tags were shuttled from box to box over the years after my mother then my grandmother died, and somehow I always assumed they were my grandfather's military dog tags. One day recently, while on a cleaning binge, I realized that they in fact belonged to my mom and uncle—neither of whom was ever in the military. So I did some digging and learned that they are Civil Defense Identification Tags—metal ID tags issued to students by their schools during World War II. New York City’s public school system was the first to issue the identification tags in February 1952, spending $159,000 to provide them to 2.5 million students—my mother and uncle clearly among them. We tend to think of childhood in the fifties as being carefree and innocent, but with the advent of the Cold War and Russia's nuclear arms, there was also a sense of fear that pervaded American life. My mother told me about the "duck and cover" drills they did at her school, but seeing these tags makes me wonder how "real" it all was to her... * * * ** * * * * * * * * * #familyhistory #civilidentificationtags #dogtags #dogtag #nycschools #nyc #1950s #fifties #nostalgia #ww2 #WWII #coldwar #familyrelic #tellyourstory #lifestories #legacy #kidsdogtags #siblings #waryears #duckandcover #1951 #1952

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