I have always had a passion for sound and the spoken word. Growing up my little transistor radio was my constant companion. Ten years of working in radio broadcasting was a logical first step on my professional journey. In 2001, I discovered the Association of Personal Historians and realized that what I’d been all along, without realizing it, was a Personal Historian!
Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
That same year I started my business, “Real to Reel, recording personal stories.” Since then I’ve recorded hundreds of stories with individuals throughout the U.S. A regret is that I didn’t discover this in time to record my dad’s stories before he died at 61 years of age. Thanks to his siblings, I have stories about him but that is very different from having HIS stories…and his voice.
I love guiding people through their lives via a personal history interview. When they say, “I haven’t thought about that in years!” or “I really shouldn’t tell you, but…” and I see the twinkle in their eye, I wait…and listen. When someone takes the time to really listen to what is being said, it makes all the difference. A critical part of my work is to “receive” the stories as they are being told. This is an aspect of preserving stories that is seldom acknowledged, little-understood but vitally important. And it is one of (many) reasons why I prefer to do this work “in person.”
I also enjoy public speaking and have been a Toastmaster for many years. My passion is talking about the importance and value of preserving personal stories. Let me know when you’d like me to come and share with your group.
I consider listening to and recording stories sacred work. I am reminded daily what a privilege it is to spend my time doing something that I love and that makes a profound difference in the lives of all concerned…from the storyteller to the family and friends who hear the stories, to future generations.
A Passion for Peace
I have a special passion for recording stories of those who have a heart for peace and justice.
Our world is filled with stories of fear, war, and death. Now more than ever we need to hear the stories of people who believe there’s a better way.
- Are you a conscientious objector for religious or moral reasons?
- Do you care deeply about peace and justice?
- Are you concerned about the “least of these”? How did you come to care so deeply? Who and what influenced how you have lived your life?
We need to hear your stories now so others can learn from them.