Category Archives: Event

My Family Put FUN in DysFUNctional–Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanksgiving dog and catYes, we love our families. Yes, lots of us have to give ourselves a pep talk before we enter the room for that Thanksgiving dinner, smiling.

Families know how to push our buttons. Families have issues. If you haven’t seen the new George Clooney movie, be prepared. It’s not a feel-good. It’s a reality check.

Speaking of reality checks, families are also good for that, too. They keep us grounded. Praise the Lord. Pass the gravy. We all need to stay grounded. The uncle/brother/ mother/cousin who drives you crazy may be doing you a favor, you know, keeping your ego in check.

If it’s politics that drives you crazy, listen. It pays to understand how the other side thinks. If you’re bored, ask yourself why. Are you so busy you can’t change pace for a half-a-day? If it’s an old issue that keeps coming up, remind yourself that it’s OLD. If you don’t want to deal with it, tell yourself you’re not dealing and shrug.

Here’s the key, according to me. No matter what happens, ask yourself what’s funny about the situation. How would this make an interesting story? Humor trumps anger. Even if you’re only amused on the inside, keeping your feelings to yourself, you’ll win. You’ll leave the family gathering in better spirits and maybe wiser for taking a step back and putting life in perspective.

That’s my Thanksgiving morning pep talk. I needed it. Have a good one with lots of food and amusement/amazement at the FUN in every family’s dysFUNction.

Cheers!!!

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Filed under Event, Family history, Family Stories, Funny story

Share Your Colorado Story and Win a Trip

History Colorado Center and LogoHistory Colorado is calling all Coloradans to dress up, snap a photo and, most importantly, share it and the story behind it for History Colorado’s “Share Your Story” contest for a chance to win a family overnight getaway for four to Glenwood Springs! Entries should be photos of individuals, kids or families dressed up that tells a Colorado story — past, present, or future – along with a brief description of the story. The “Share Your Story” photo contest will be open to Colorado residents 18 years of age or older beginning on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011 at 8 a.m. MT and ends on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. MT.

Check out the details: http://www.agjournalonline.com/news/x1606478818/History-Colorado-launches-Share-Your-Story-Facebook-photo-and-story-contest

Sounds like a fun idea. Got a costume????

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Filed under Event, Family history, Family Stories, History, Why Stories?

My Story/Your Story/Our Story of 9/11

9/11 image with statue of libertyThe tenth anniversary of 9/11 has come and gone.

It is one of those shared moments that each of us remembers differently. I was putting on my running shoes. The television happened to be on.  I  called my friend and told her a plane had just hit the World Trade Center. She started to ask where we were going meet for usual 45 minutes of exercise. “Turn on your television,” I told her and for the next 45 minutes we watched together, talking on the phone the whole time. We caught the moment when the second plane hit.

My husband had gone to Boston on business the Monday before. He wasn’t schedule to return until Friday. All week he kept thinking they’d get the planes flying by Friday. Saturday morning he started driving and was glad he had a car–any way to get home. Took him two days. When he went to turn in the car in Boulder, Colorado, the place was a mess, cars being turned in from everywhere, more than the local car rental place could park in their parking lot. Confusion. Frustration.

My husband and I remember 9/11 as an inconvenience–an ongoing inconvenience every time we fly. There are worse stories. There are families who lost loved ones that day and families that continue to lose loved ones to the wars and aftermath of the clean-up.

Events that everyone remembers are anchors in time. I’m old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination, the events of 1968, and watching the first man to walk on the moon. What are the anchor events in your life and that of your family? Are they written down?

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Filed under Event, Family Stories, History, Memories, National Story, Story pegs

History Repeats; Money Corrupts

moneyThe Denver Center just closed The Voysey Inheritance-an excellent production. The play was adapted by David Mamet from one written in 1905. Adapted, not revised. Seemingly nothing changes when it comes to greed, guilt and financial corruption.

Edward, the heir to a trust and estate law firm, discovers that his father has been raiding the accounts. When confronted, his father shrugs. He’ll eventually get it all right, he says. He always does. This is just a reversal–the result of some bad investments. Unfortunately he dies leaving the son the problem. Edward can expose the shortage, ruining his father’s good name, and leaving many penniless. Or he can continue to juggle the books and hope to get things right, or righter than they currently are. Whose interests should he put first–his family’s, close friends, small investors, the law? Even ledger books are never black and white.

moneyBesides money, the play raises the question of why we allow cycles of economic corruption and collapse. Does history inevitably repeat? Or does it repeat because we all keep hoping for an economic advantage, meaning we’re willing to look the other way?

A good story raises those kinds of questions, which is why a good story tells us more than figures in a column, no matter how they add or don’t add up.

Bravo Denver Center. Bravo David Mamet.

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Filed under Event, History, Life Story, stories, Theatre, Uncategorized

Stories Used To Be An Event! Still are?

Native American Storyteller

Native American Storyteller

Some Native American cultures saved storytelling for the winter months when people had time to gather together, repeat myths, share histories and create a common cultural bond. It was an event; something to look forward to. In my town, the only thing that comes close is when children gather for Story Hour at the public library or when Irish storyteller, Liz Weir, makes her annual appearance in Boulder.

Aditi Worcester, a video biographer, makes a similar observation about photographs in her blog http://savetheirstory.blogspot.com.

“My favorite picture is of my mother in Kashmir. It’s black and white… though everything looks rather white because of the snow. She’s wearing an oversized, black trenchcoat sort of thing… and smiling, well, half-smiling into the camera. Or rather at my father, who was taking the picture. It had been so cold that day that the guide who was taking my parents on a tour of the city offered his jacket to my mother to keep her warm. This demonstrated two things to me.
A). Locals don’t feel cold. And
B). Chivalry wasn’t dead 25 years ago.

But it’s my favorite picture. Whether it’s because of the story behind it, or because it was taken in a place I haven’t been to, or because it was a snapshot of my parents, young and in love… I don’t know.

My parents tell me that when they were growing up, taking pictures was an event. One you made appointments for, dressed up, and posed for, with your eyes deliberately looking elsewhere… for the effect of seriousness perhaps? Or gravity?”

Do we take too many photos today?  I took seven hundred photos on a recent week vacation.  These days, that’s not hard to do. The problem is editing them into something meaningful. That’s also the problem with video. My phone will capture the action, but, with rare exceptions, that’s not enough. The action needs to be shaped into something worthwhile–the work Aditi Worcester has taken on with her video biography project.

Stories need a storyteller.

Glass PosterAnd when we meet a master, we pause, we listen, we make it an event. Try Scott Hicks understated documentary, Glass: A Portrait in Twelve Parts

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Filed under Event, Family Stories, History, Old Storytelling Traditions, stories, Uncategorized, Video Story

2009 Conference on World Affairs

100 speakers, 200 panels, 5 days, the 61st annual Conference on World Affairs offered some great quotes about story.

No one ever marched on Washington because of a pie chart. You need a good story.

—Terry McNally (radio commentator)

You need to know where you came from to know who you are. Ask your family for the stories.

–Liz Weir (Irish storyteller Boom Chicka Boom)

We need a poetic response to reality.

–Peter Thabit Jones (Welsh poet The Lizard Catchers)

Like an open road, stories will take you where you want to go.

–Teresa Jordan (writer Riding the White Horse Home)

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Filed under Event, Family Stories, stories, Story Quote

Nothing Better–Stories and Songs in Boulder/Denver

If you believe in the power of word and music. Check this out!!!!

http://www.tellingstoriesmusic.org/

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Filed under Event, stories