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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Legacy Moments For All

I discovered the efforts of StoryCorps on a two part documentary on the BBC even though it is an American effort, which has actually been going since 2003. Some of you may know of it because some of the stories have been on NPR.

This is an effort to record and preserve some history of the lives of ordinary people. I would not call them life histories but more like snapshot pictures of peoples lives. People are invited to interview another person for forty minutes. It could be a family member, a significant person in your life, or an interesting person in your neighbourhood. Whoever you want. In the end, you are given a recording of the conversation and, if you like, another will be sent to the Smithstonian Museum to be kept in perpetuity.

For those with aged parents this is a wonderful opportunity to have a meaningful conversation with them and perserve their fragment of a life story and their voice forever. I can also see it being used to have a elder speak in a language that may be extinct after their generation passes, perhaps, sing a song in it they sang to you as an infant, which is not a use suggested in the recording below.

If you listen to the entertaining recording below all will be made clear as to who it is done and the range of converstions possible.

(this is actually the recording of part two of the BBC documentary)

History belongs to us all. We all participate in it, most in ways that do not gain widespread recognition. Unfortunately, we are taught history as the story of great men (and now women) and dramatic events, political and military. Some of the most interesting history is missed. It is the history of the social and personal events in people's lives and what they meant to them and those closest to them.

If I lived in the US I would be trying to get the StoryCorps to come to my town.


At 11:09 p.m., Blogger KGMom said...

sorry I didn't comment sooner. I do know the Story Corps program, on NPR. As a matter of fact, it is one of my husband's favorite features on NPR.
Over Thanksgiving, we had occasion to talk with the father of one of the guests. Our son & his wife have friends, a couple. The woman's father was born in India--a part that later became Pakistan. He and his family were Hindu and were driven out when Partition occurred in 1947.
He was sharing some of his memories with my husband--who later said "what a perfect topic of Story Corps" or some other oral history project.

At 11:27 p.m., Blogger Mary said...

Philip, Interesting documentary. I have watched a few of these viginettes on the History Channel over the years.

Glad your trip "south" went well. If I had known you were in Caledonia, we could have met for coffee.

Wishing you a great week. I hope the pigs are finally confined.


At 8:46 p.m., Blogger Janet said...

We have a good friend who heavily promotes this, although the fact of it being Thanksgiving weekend hampers us because of travel schedules. I need to interview my Grandmother - I interviewed my grandfather years ago and put it all into a book, but I'd like her perspective, too.


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