By Dan Hiestand, Houstory Marketing Guy
So I belong to a local Toastmasters group in Eugene, Oregon. I joined the club to work on my communication skills (giving speeches, making presentations, producing podcasts, etc.).
The meeting allows members a chance to speak on a variety of topics in an effort to improve, and one subject that was recently presented to me was this biggie: “What is your favorite place in the world.” Well, I could list off a lot of places I love, but the one that came to mind was a location that held an important place in my family history called Granite Creek Campground, near Anchorage, Alaska. It was an oasis for me growing up, a campground that brings back memories of catching my first fish and action-packed getaways with my family.
To me, I remember Granite Creek felt like home. If you want to know more about me and my life path, you need to know about Granite Creek and its importance in my personal history.
The second episode of our new Houstories podcast examines a similar concept: What places do you connect with family history? For this episode, we travel to Klamath Falls, Oregon., to delve deeper into the topic. That’s where I have a chance find out a little bit more about what makes my dad tick. How? He lived there 60-plus years ago as a little kid, and I recently joined him and his brother (my Uncle John) on a journey to learn a little bit more about their connection to the area.
In this episode, my brother Mike and I also chat about one woman’s unique and humorous approach to preserving her legacy in the face of battling a terminal illness.
Finally, we ask Allison Dolan of Family Tree Magazine penetrating questions about life outside of genealogy, including the longest she has gone without bathing. (Thank you for being a good sport, Allison!)
Yes, it is mostly fun and games at Houstory. Speaking of games, Allison has graciously offered to give away Denise Levenick’s new book, “How to Archive Family Photos.” If it is anything like her outstanding book, “How to Archive Family Keepsakes,” you will learn much from The Family Curator.
To enter the drawing for a chance to win her book, send us an email at info (at) houstory.com telling us who taught Dan’s dad to play basketball. [Hint 1: The answer is in the podcast!] [Hint 2: It’s between the 12:12 — 15:15 minute mark.] Winner will be randomly selected from among the correct entries. One entry per person, please. Final entries due May 31.
And for those of you who want to start saving your stories of home, send us your obituary. Yes, you heard that correctly.
Give us one paragraph telling us what you liked to do while you were alive (hobbies, interests, etc.). Yes, your living obituary — just like the one I penned for my father-in-law. If we read your words on air during our next podcast, we will send you a pack of Heirloom Registry labels so you can preserve and pass on the stories of your family heirlooms. Send those entries to info (at) houstory (dot) com. (If you just want to inspire others, but would prefer we not use your real name when reading it, let us know.)
Finally, make sure to check out the links we mentioned in the podcast with our Herd stories at the end of this post, as well as photos of Dan’s Klamath Falls trip. And of course listen to the podcast, too.
Now, on to The Herd for this month…
What is “The Hearth Herd.” It’s simply a roundup (hence the name “Herd”) of a few stories we’ve seen recently that we feel our fellow Houstorians would be interested in. The Herd’s content will be confined to three main categories, or related offshoots: 1) House and property history; 2) Family heirlooms; 3) Natural Resource Conservation. Basically, the things you’ve come to expect when you visit our blog.
This is where you come in: If you see stories you think would make our monthly collection, please shoot me an e-mail to info (at) houstory (dot) com, say hello on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet.
Author: Houstory Hearth
Herd-Worthy Because: What would you take with you? Does anything come to mind immediately? If you had to choose between the designer shoes purchased two months ago and that heirloom quilt handed down from grandma, what are you snagging? The Burning House blog and book has answers of what many would choose.
Author: News4JAX (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Herd-Worthy Because: One Florida woman wrote her own obituary after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Here’s a sample: “It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience…” Talk about doing that “end-of-life thing” the right way!
Other stories of interest related to funny obituaries:
Author: By Virginia M. Wright, Down East (The Magazine of Maine) — Referred by New England Historic Genealogical Society
Title: “The Secret Lives of Houses”
Herd-Worthy Because: “Underneath the layers of wallpaper and dropped ceilings lie clues to your old home’s age and the people who have lived there…”
Author: MINDS alpha
Herd-Worthy Because: Hey, it’s Earth Month. Not family history or anything of the like. Just cool. “They sell upwards of 350 products dispensed from refillable containers, while some of the liquids come in bottles with deposits on them. The store creates zero waste and the customer is able to purchase exactly as much as he or she needs, which contributes to less waste at home.”
Until we “Herd” again…