Yesterday afternoon, as I was sitting on my front porch after lunch, two long-time friends, Jim & Eileen Zogby, stopped by to visit. In the course of the conversation Jim remembered a visit several years ago with me and my verbal sparring partner, Al Scarborough. Apparently Al & I entertained the Zogby family with non-stop humorous and outlandish stories about island people and events (from the distant past up to the present day). Afterwords, Jim said, his children commented that they wished their family had such wonderful stories.
After some thought, Jim explained to his children that every family has colorful characters and equally wonderful stories. But the stories need to be passed down (you need to know the stories)...and it helps to have a family member who can tell the stories with flair. In our mobile society sometimes the stories get left behind (Jim's family emigrated to the US from Lebanon). And sometimes the people who know the stories don't know how to share them.
Be sure to tell your own stories to your children...frequently. And make it a priority to ask your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and other relatives for their stories. Ask them to describe their childhood home, yard, school, or town. Find out what their parents and grandparents did for a living, when they got their first car, or who their best friend was. Their stories will flow. Almost everyone wants to tell you about himself. You might be surprised what you discover!
This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's story about volunteering for turtle patrol with the National Park Service. You can read her story and see her pictures here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news072809.htm.