Monday, July 16, 2012

History Lives On...

I am just back from visiting extended family in upstate New York and we did a lot of story telling. No they were not fictional stories, although some of the facts have probably been altered over the years. They were accounts of great-great grandfathers who immigrated to this country in the 1800s and their families and what they went through, both good and bad in living their lives. It is quite fascinating to hear the different accounts as told through relatives who put their own slant on the events. We tend to pass judgment on others when they don't follow the ideals that we think are right. One such tale was of an uncle who left the family flock and moved far away to the Philippines after a stint there during WW2. The stories were that witch doctors performed their rituals on him and he died, when the official records from the Navy state that he had a heart attack and died. Now whom should I believe?

You can create wonderful fiction based on family stories. Sometimes they need a little embellishment to make them more exciting, or maybe a little adjusting to save family members from embarrassment. One of the treasures I brought home was a stack of travel logs from my husband's grandmother who traveled the world on cargo ships with her husband, staying in foreign ports for weeks at a time. I am really looking forward to reading them and maybe gleaning some story material from them.

What kind of family history do you have? Is it story-worthy?