Saying What you Mean

A neighbor of mine, Michael Frank, is a Mark Twain scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. He is a part of a project producing volumes of his writings we’ve never read before. What follows are some of those excerpts told in Mark Twains signature ascerbic style:


“The multimillionaire disciples of Jay Gould — that man who in his brief life rotted the commercial morals of this nation and left them stinking when he died — have quite completely transformed our people from a nation with pretty high and respectable ideals to just the opposite of that; that our people have no ideals now that are worthy of consideration; that our Christianity which we have always been so proud of — not to say vain of — is now nothing but a shell, a sham, a hypocrisy; that we have lost our ancient sympathy with oppressed peoples struggling for life and liberty; that when we are not coldly indifferent to such things we sneer at them, and that the sneer is about the only expression the newspapers and the nation deal in with regard to such things.”

Telling the Truth and Healing

I believe in the power of our stories. Joy DeGruy,PhD says it well about healing injuries.

“Healing must begin on multiple levels because the injury occurred on multiple levels. We begin by simply telling the truth”…

Start by Asking a Question, Listen to the Answer…

Family Stories, Healing, Stories, Telling the Truth

The Call of Story

I like this group. It also has interesting options for people who want to tell their stories.

The Call of Story is an ambitious television special presenting a collaboration between nationally known oral storytellers and cutting edge filmmakers. Storytelling is said to take place in the minds of the listeners. How then can this be translated into a visually-based medium? And further, in what ways do storytellers visualize the tales they weave?

When You are ready to hear My story…

I want you to do better than I have done. I believe in you.

Life has a way of throwing curves, sometimes really horrible curves. What we really need as individuals, and what I want for my descendants is to have the skills, self respect and tenacity to get back up when life knocks them down. I want you to have the skills to think about what is happening and to figure out how to change a situation. I want you to have respect for yourself and for others.

Learn to Learn – get an education and learn how to figure things out

Get work and keep it – it’s good for you, it’s good for your family, it’s good for your self esteem — it generally isn’t fun. That’s why it’s called work. If you get an education, you can even make you can use that to get different kinds of work.

Be tenacious – stay at it even when it seems stupid.

Remember real friends encourage you to be a better person, remind you when you miss on the previous three points and support your efforts to be successful.

The information contained in these sites is intended to remind us of our connections and to share our stories so that our lives are connected, our worth affirmed and our descendants informed -so you can learn from our experiences when you are ready.

Narratives Make Family History Come Alive

Families are more than Charts and Dates. It is the stories that give us the glimpses into the lives and times of our family that bring our families together and to life.

Those stories are often short – a few words, spontaneously uttered in response to a picture or a memento. Attached to pictures and charts our ancestry comes to life and reminds us of our value. It gives us strength and understanding.

What is your story?

At Last…The Beginning

In 1996, my son asked me about his father’s family, about which, he had little historical information.

As a result of that question, I began to gather and compile a family tree. That tree grew to include all of his ancestors. Eventually I realized the value of linking pictures to the individuals on the trees for add interest.

Still, though, I found that the trees did not come to life and capture the interest for a person embroiled in the throes of a busy life.

As a result, I began to gather and sort through the stories I could gather about individuals and in 1999 I began linking those stories to the trees. What I have found is that vignettes attached to the pictures and trees provide just the right amount of interest to allow an individual to come to life in the eyes of a descendant.

The significance of knowing that real people cared and struggled and worked to make our lives possible, however successful or flawed we might find them, anchors us to and engages us in life.

In 2007, following ten years of development, I launched to provide a secure and private place for families to gather and post Family Narratives for themselves and their families.

This forum provides an opportunity for individuals to share that information and for it to be available ‘on demand’.

Enjoy these pages. Contribute to them. Contact me to start a family page…