Oral History Articles

“We don’t have family traditions…

...like we would if we were religious." One early client reached out to not just trace, but to establish her family's path to the present. Some unique markers on that West Coast path came to light. An important job of family traditions is to transport the story of...

To Love What Is Ugly: Family stories

We giggled onscreen together when she told me about the ring her grandmother had left her. ''It is so ugly! And I so love it." My pink-haired tattooed client also knew her great grandmother, which is a little unusual. Indeed, we picked a path through five generations...

On honoring a mentor who set me on my path…

They say we die twice -- once when our bodies give out, and again the last time our name is spoken aloud. My high school English teacher was the first woman I had ever heard go by the title "Ms."  I was a high school freshman in 1979, in a small mill town in southern...

My grandparents’ shocking first date.

"Once upon a time there was a farm girl -- the youngest of six kids.  She was shy and thought she was ugly.  She had some very glamorous older sisters and some very rowdy older brothers. They all lived in Aroostook County, Maine. Imagine rural Northern Maine farm...