Woolf says, "A memoir is not what happens, but the person
to whom things happen."
What a wonderful way to preserve history, the sharing
of personal experiences. This could by far be the most exciting page of
DeWittVille if those of you who hold the stories will share them with
us. I am totally convinced that there are many stories from all generations
that are in need of transposing into print. I am also certain that I have
only heard but a drip into the story well, stories of bountiful trout
streams, curious haircuts.... recovered snowmobiles? Cabins whose walls
wore many a shirttails, summer vacations that certain cousins will never
Here are some more ideas of things to write about:
- Tell us about your school days: likes, dislikes, teachers, normal
routine in a day?
- Things you remember most about your parents.
- What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?
- Did you have chores and responsibilities at home?
- How did you spend summer vacations as a child?
- What did you enjoy doing during your teenage or later years? What
was most difficult?
- favorite pet? why?
- foods u love or hated?
- Discipline at your house?
- favorite family activity?
- favorite song when growning up?
- how did you meet your spouse? any courting stories? any "married
- what are some vivid memories of your parents, grandparents, other
- could you ever have been called ornery? why?
- which things from your growing up have you made a point of passing
on in your own family , and which things have you made it a point to
not carry on?
- proudest moments? moments you most wish to forget?
- Recall the firsts in your life: first boyfriend/girlfriend, first
day of school, first paycheck, first home on your own, first child.
First car. You get the idea.
- At what age did you have your first child?
- How did you decide on the name?
- How did you adjust to motherhood? Fatherhood?
- Did any of your children resemble you or other ancestors?
- Tell me a favorite story about a child in your family.
- What were some of the difficulties of family life?
Are there any traditional first names, middle names,
or nicknames in your family? Is there a naming tradition, such as always
giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?
What stories have come down to you about your
parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors? How have these relatives
described their lives to you? What have you learned from them about
their childhood, adolescence, schooling, marriage, work, religion, political
How did your parents, grandparents, and other relatives
come to meet and marry? Are there family stories of lost love, jilted
brides, unusual courtships, arranged marriages, elopements, runaway
Have any historical events affected your family?
For example, how did your family survive the Depression? Did conflict
over some national event such as a world war or the Vietnam War cause
a serious break or changes in family relationships?
Another idea: Something that would be interesting
is if someone could draw a floor plan of the house you grew up in and
take us on a tour.
Any stories or experiences coming to mind?
What a gift it would be to hear the recollections
that would help us who weren't there get a better understanding of who
these people are that often are only names, vague memories or old photos.
Share with us those stories that make real to us that child, that teenager,
that young parent of years past, the memories that make you who you are.
You can email them as soon as you would like. Your
memoirs, writings, experiences, notes or thoughts will start appearing
here as soon as they start arriving.
Please email: Memoirs
Camp rules - Any of you fellas remember this?