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Speed Coaching for Personal Historians

Last year was my first APH conference.  Going in, I vowed to get the most out of it I possibly could.  I signed up for a pre-conference seminar, volunteered my time and attended each and every workshop and presentation. I took advantage of every opportunity available—even...

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Every Life Matters. Make Your Stories Matter Too

While wallpapering my daughter’s bedroom years ago, I unscrewed the wall plate protecting the light switch and noticed a small square of folded paper wedged amid the electrical wires. I unfolded the paper and discovered it was a note written by the son of the former owners of our home. I...

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Flying Around the World for the APH Conference

“I’m leaving on a jet plane…” John Denver’s poignant song has been whirling around in my head over the past few days as the BIG item on my annual “to do” list has been ticked—I can attend the annual APH conference this year! Living, as I do, in...

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Finding My Family’s Past–on a Plaque

They say it’s often the journey, not the destination, that really matters, and our recent family vacation showed how true that is.  I have been writing my in-laws’ personal history, and it has taken a little sleuthing along the way. My in-laws were both born in China and were...

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Come Early to St. Louis for the APH Conference

When I was asked to write about great sites to see and things do in my home town of St. Louis, I considered telling my fellow APH members to arrive at least a week before the APH conference, Turning Points, (October 17-21, 2012). But you certainly may want to arrive a few days early. October is a...

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Personal History: Bearing Witness and Validating Lives

When I was in Grade 7, four First Nations kids came to my small, rural school—the first aboriginal students we’d ever had. One became my friend. She told me she had been going to school at Kuper Island. I had no idea what she was talking about. I remember sitting on the grass with her...

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99-Year-Old Learns to Write–Then Pens His Memoir

How many times have you thought about starting a personal history but decided it was not the right time? When is the right time? For one man, the right time to write his memoirs had to wait… until he learned to write. Now 99 years old, Captain James Henry, a retired fisherman in Mystic,...

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Bringing Light and Life to Dred and Harriet Scott

On June 8, 2012, a life-sized, bronze sculpture with significance for every American was unveiled at the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. The man and woman depicted in the statue, Dred and Harriet Scott, stand close together, heads held high. They appear united in love and united in a...

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Deconstructing Dad: A Documentary or Personal History?

A new documentary film opens this weekend in New York City—a story by the son of a man who was a musician, inventor, and electronic engineer. You’ve most likely heard his music, but you might not know his name: Raymond Scott. Scott’s son, filmmaker and editor Stan Warnow, hopes...

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