“Family stories can be told anywhere. They cost us only our time, our memories, or creativity. They can inspire us, protect us, and bind us to others. So be generous with your stories, and be generous in your stories. Remember that your children may have them for a lifetime.” (Elaine Reese)
Sitting at the maple dining room table, around a blazing campfire or at a family holiday party all the places our family stories have been told. Stories of early childhood. Stories of courtship. Stories of many years past. Passed down from my parents and grandparents, hopefully never to be lost. Exaggerated a little here or there all to entice the listener.
A Family Story to Pass Down
“Sh, sh, sh!” “Quiet down!”
“Sh, sh, sh you girl’s up front, be quiet.” scolded the movie theater usher as he shined his bright flashlight in their giddy eyes. He took his job seriously. Sixteen years old, he was dressed in a starched white dress shirt, pressed black pants and shiny patent leathered shoes. The year was 1948 and the movie house was the Hollywood Theatre in Ausable Forks, New York. Playing in the background is the beautiful melody, “In Your Easter Bonnet,” sung by Judy Garland.
“What a Fuddy Duddy.” whispered the young woman.
“That Francis Passino thinks he is all that.”
“With his silk scarf blowing in the wind as he drives by in his blue convertible all around town.”
The man was my father and the young woman that was chatty with her girlfriend was my mother. Little did this young woman know then in less than two years she would be married to this annoying young man.
This story has been told and retold at many family events over the years. One that I loved listening to as a child as my mother would act out my father’s behaviors as he scolded her. This was the story of where they first met. The movie house that they soon would frequent on Saturday nights as husband and wife. This was the beginning of a relationship that has lasted almost 70 years.
Family stories are a gift that we can give to future generations. Often these stories are told orally. What family story do you want to write down so that it may be shared again and again?