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Thursday, 8 September 2011

Preface

At the dawn of a new millennium the young may look forward but the older you are, the more likely you are to reflect on what you may or may not have achieved in your lifetime. I have therefore been inevitably drawn to the idea of setting down thoughts and observations of sixty years of life in the 20th Century.

Whilst this is self-motivated and, I hope, provides some self-satisfaction, I also hope others may find it of some interest. I remember once reading part of a life history written by an uncle of my wife, Eileen. It touched the lives of his family and provided a few surprises for those who had the opportunity to read it. My own father and mother are no longer alive but, as I write, Eileen's mother is still going strong at 92 [she died aged 95 - Trish]. We still have the chance to listen to her memories but I am sure present and future generations would have gained more from something put down in writing.

Written 1999

8 comments:

  1. I think this is all going to be very "I wish" for a lot of readers. I used to sit and listen to my amazing Great Aunt as she told stories of being an It Girl (my phrase, not her's, but she was) in the 20s. I wish, wish, wish, I had written them down, but they are gone now. So well done to you and your dad for making his mark... He is so right, we now and in the future can only gain from recollections of the past.

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  2. @Plan B - At the time I didn't really consider what an important document it was, hence my apathy at times to type up what I had. Now he's gone it has become such a treasured book.

    I think I may have to quiz my mum and get her to tell the rest of the story of their life together, as his memoirs end at about the time of their marriage. In fact I should also get Mum to write down her early years: there would be some brilliant tales to tell!

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  3. I feel like I just took in a deep breath, curled up in a chair and I am ready to listen. x

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  4. @Kelloggsville - I'd best get started pretty soon then. Get yourself comfy and I'll start at Chapter One at the weekend.

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  5. I wish I'd done this with my parents. When i was 11, history teacher assigned us to interview an "old" family member, as if we were journalists, and write up what we were told without editorializing. I "interviewed" my dad's mother, who had had a very adventurous youth. So adventurous that the teacher considered my work fiction, not journalism (too bad he wasn't teaching Rupert Murdoch!) and gave me the worst grade I ever received in my life. So much for family memoirs! Many years later, on our travels, our paths crossed some of Nana's old footprints, and I asked locals about things like a great festival X years ago with fountains flowing wine on every corner, houses with gold & silver pictures on their fronts (yes, the houses in X district were famous for their Art Nouveau mosaics, stripped during wartime).... Guess what? not fiction.Nana had told the absolute truth.

    I hope your dad's story leads you to know him better, he sounds like a wonderful guy.

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  6. @wellfedfred - What a fabulous story! Poor show on your teacher who didn't believe you. You should try and remember what she said and write it down; that episode alone would be very interesting to read.

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  7. Thanks Trish lovely tribute xxx

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