Story Preservation Initiative®

We believe in the importance of sharing ideas and the transformative power of story. For info on our K-3 Learning Lab projects, go to:

Archive for ‘June, 2011’

Preserving the remembrances of those with memory impairment

My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s so I am painfully aware of the losses associated with the disease.

Memory loss and impairment, in general, regardless of the cause, robs all of those touched of all the life-giving stories of joy and sadness, good times and bad, struggle, and growth.   Story Preservation is dedicated to helping seniors with memory impairment – and their families – preserve those life-giving stories.

When memory loss is involved, the process that we undertake is simplified:

  • We offer shorter recording sessions and, if desired, make ourselves available for multiple sessions.
  • Questions are kept simple.  They sometimes need to be asked several times or rephrased.
  • We ask that a family member or loved one be present to ask questions and prompt memories.   This person is integral to the process and their voice is included in the recording.
  • We ask that the interview partner bring photographs to enhance memory.
  • And the amount of equipment, while still offering true-to-voice quality, is lessened.   Any augmenting of sound quality that may be needed is handled off-site in our studio.

There is often a relatively brief window to capture and preserve the life stories and histories of those with memory loss.  The rewards are tremendous and the process is of great value, facilitating meaningful interaction between the person being interviewed and their partner.

Finally, listening to, recording, and preserving life stories of those with memory loss helps to reaffirm  the value of their life experiences.

The Babe

It was an honor and a privilege to get to know Babe Sargent, if only for just a short while.

Click on the link below to hear Babe talk about his early years on Lake Sunapee.

Run time: 9:26.  This may take a few minutes to download.

03 Track 03 2

Small blessings

I have to tell you, I’m getting quite popular.  Since starting Story Preservation, I’ve been invited to more celebrations and events than I have in a very long time. As I work mostly with seniors, I have been to several 80th and 90th birthday celebrations as well as family events.  When I meet with people to record their life stories, a bond seems to form between us.  I am, after all, present as events of personal significance – both large and small – are recounted.  And, more often than not, relived.

I gave my telephone and contact information to a fellow that  I recently worked with.  Unfortunately, after I left, he misplaced it.  After quite some time of looking, it turned up.   But he was so concerned about misplacing it again that he took a pin and stuck it onto the shade of the lamp that is placed on the table next to where he sits.

In all my years of doing … whatever it is I’ve been doing … to the best of my knowledge, no one has considered my contact information to be that important.

Many, many nice things have happened to me over the course of my life.  I consider this to be one of them.

Getting to know the people that I have had the privilege to record has been a blessing to me.