When is 5 cents the same as $10.
Some readers have expressed a desire to write stories about their families. They usually ask how to get started and talk to family members about things they remember. Spend time thinking about good memories.
My advice is this: Write about events and places about which you have fond memories. If you have trouble getting started or have trouble getting the creative juices flowing, open up an old album and start reminiscing. Your spouse or a long time friend can help with details you may not remember.
Another thing you should do is get into the habit of taking notes on your iPhone, ipad, or with a pencil so that you can record a passing thought that triggers your memory about a particular event . I’ve found that if I don’t make a note I have trouble remembering later.
When you start writing, pay no attention to punctuation or spelling. You can clean it up later. Write while the thought is fresh and the words will flow. After you have written a few paragraphs, put the story down and come back a day or so later and add or subtract as you see fit. I usually do this at least a half dozen times until I get the story I want to tell.
I THINK THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN 1968 OF MY DAD, ALFRED, AND I
I started by writing about my father and my own childhood experiences living on a farm south of Muskogee (aside from a few stories about Vietnam). I started there because my long term memory seems to be better than the shorter one.
I also try to include a principle or moral lesson as a central part of the story. One which can be remembered and passed on the next generation.
An example comes to mind. During our Christmas reunion last week, our daughter, Cynthia told about going to the store recently to buy a few items, which included two bags of ice. Later that day she realized that she had paid for only one bag. She immediately returned to the store and paid for the extra bag office.
Cynthia reminded us of the story which had provided her a guide in such matters.
Dad is working on a transmission. He charged $35. for the part,
“In the 1960’s, her grandfather Burr had traveled to Muskogee to borrow money from a bank because he was struggling to make ends meet. When he returned to Warner, he discovered that the cashier had given him a nickel too much.”
“Although it was only a nickel, he went back the same day and returned the money.” when asked why he would do such a thing, he said , “The money didn’t belong to me, whether it was a nickel or $10, the idea was the same”.
Although Cynthia was only a few years old when it happened, She remembered because the story, had been told and retold many times.
PICTURE OF OUR FAMILY TAKEN IN 1998, SPRINGFIELD MO. FROM TOP RIGHT, PHYLLIS, JACK, SUSAN AND RICK, RANDY, DONNA, AND DAUGHTER CYNTHIA, CYNTHIA HOLDING VENESSA, MELLISA, KIMBERLY, FRONT ROW FROM RIGHT TO LEFT EVAN, BETHANY AND MIKE.
Talking about such memories binds the family together and gives each member a sense of a common heritage. It makes you glad to be a part of your family.
Note: Cynthia is in the center of the picture on the left holding her daughter, Venessa, who is now attending college in Texas.
She too knows the story about her great grandfather, Alfred Burr.