#28 The Stories We Tell Our Children

by Jolene Philo & Anne Fleck | Home Again

Jolene grew up hearing stories about her dad’s parents Fern Stratton, who died a few months before she was born, and her dad’s dad, Cyril Stratton, pictured below with Jolene’s older sister in 1951. Jolene also heard pictures about her mom’s large family surviving the Great Depression. The family is pictured below around 1940. Her parents also told stories of meeting in college in the late 1940s. The picture of them in front of Dad’s car is Jolene’s all time favorite.

Anne grew up hearing stories hearing her mom’s mom tell stories of her husband Harlan before he became ill with multiple sclerosis and of her dad’s dad’s love for machines. Her dad’s mom didn’t tell a lot of stories, but sent Anne and her brother audiotapes of her singing to them.

All that’s needed to tell stories is a memory and a willingness to share it. But for those who need a boost to get started, here are links to storytelling tools mentioned during this episode.

Storycorps.org is an organization that collects family stories from around the country and archives them at the Library of Congress. 

The bookemon.com website allows people to create online books for free and print copies for a reasonable cost. Jolene’s sister used the service to create books of many stories their mother wrote about her childhood. Below is a list with links to those books: