You’ve got a story, and I’ve got a story, we all got a story to tell…..
How many times do we say, I wish I had asked my relative or neighbor what they remember about some experience. We all have stories to tell, stories we have lived from the inside out. We give our experiences an order. We organize the memories of our lives into stories.
This video shows how one small town in Georgia has used their stories as the driving force behind revitalizing their community.
Oral history listens to these stories. Oral history is the systematic collection of living people’s testimony about their own experiences. Montezuma Historical Society recognizes that the everyday memories of everyday people, not just the rich and famous, have historical importance. If we do not collect and preserve those memories, those stories, then one day they will disappear forever.
Your stories and the stories of the people around you are unique, valuable treasures for your family and our community. A study by two psychologists, Marshall Duke and Robyn Fivush, who worked with children of 9/11 victims, concluded that the more children knew about their family’s history the stronger their sense of of control over their lives, and the higher their self-esteem. Developing a strong narrative by documenting stories from the family is something April Bell started to do six years ago, and with the help of a new app, she is making it even easier and more affordable. Learn more about it here.
You and your family members can preserve unwritten family history using oral history techniques. Likewise you and our community can discover and preserve unwritten history large and small. Oral history is so flexible that people of all ages can adapt the techniques of asking and listening to create and learn about history and historical narratives.
An effort is underway to start collecting stories and impressions of life in Montezuma from individuals who have lived here – memories of growing up here, serving in the Fire Department, being involved in church activities, walking your dog, trick-or-treating, parades. What are your memories?
Contact us today if you are interested in sharing your story!