I recently returned from the beautiful Skagit Valley in Washington State. The tulips weren’t in bloom yet, but the daffodils offered gleaming fields of gold!
I was there to teach a writing workshop called “Capturing the Stories of the Greatest Generation.”
The workshop was for a regional meeting of Life Enrichment Directors from a large senior housing corporation. The purpose was to better equip the staff to preserve the precious stories of their residents.
These folks are so aware that they are in a unique position to capture the stories of the men and women who served both at home and abroad during WWll.
We covered basic interview how-to’s and discussed different formats for sharing the stories.Then we moved on to specific tools and prompts that make members of this generation feel more comfortable sharing as well as allow them easier access to their memories.
I hope to offer this workshop in many senior housing or retirement facilities soon, as well as open it to the public at some point.
Prior to the class I gave a War Bonds reading for the residents. Afterward, I spent time chatting with many of them and getting a glimpse of their stories.
A lovely lady purchased a copy of the book for herself and her husband, Bill. Bill has Alzheimer’s, but enjoyed the reading. While he was unsure of the date or where he lived, he certainly knew his bride. “This is my sweet Eloise,” he said, beaming. Then he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed it.
“Sweet Eloise” was a popular song 66 years ago, when they wed. Bill has lost a lot of his memories, but that song and his wife’s smile still shine through the fog of Alzheimer’s.
I hope it always will.