Tag Archive for: personal history

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You can’t go back…

You can’t go back…
In my early twenties I worked at Paisley Park Studios for the artist Prince. As you can imagine it was an interesting experience. I often tell people, and Anne Hathaway’s character says in the Devil Wears Prada, “I learned a lot”. It was a very different life from what I live now. Since Price’s death in 2016 the people who worked for him started a non-profit called the PRN Alumni. Their mission is to continue Prince’s philanthropy, especially around music education. Last week they held the Funk n Roll fundraiser. I was excited to attend and reconnect with friends from that time in my career.
As fun as it is to reconnect it is also strange to go back. People who I used to speak to multiple times a day have now become strangers. Stories are told about you that you would handle differently now that you are older and, hopefully, a little wiser. None of us are the same person we were all those years ago.
There is also a big benefit to going back. It is interesting to see how the experience shaped who you are today, to laugh a little at your younger self, and to see the path others have taken. Each chapter in our story is important to the whole story and guides us to who we really want to be.
You really can’t go back, because it is not about a place, but who you were at that time. But taking the time to look at that chapter can help you understand who you are and where you are going. It can also be, as my clients have said, in regards to personal histories, a very cathartic experience.

Grandpa Don’s Gift

Grandpa Don was the subject of my first personal history video, which I made for his and Grandma Ethel’s 60th anniversary. He didn’t say much, preferring to let her tell the stories. Until he was able to tell me about his cars. He had a list of every car he ever owned with what he paid for it and what he sold it for.  He talked about how hard it was to find a car after he came back from the war and how he had to junk the first couple he bought.

The family used to draw names at Christmas. One year grandpa asked me what I would like so he could tell the person who got my name. I said “if it was you I’d like you to make me something.” He was a carpenter and had made other things for the family. He was a child of the depression who valued saving and fixing and repairing stuff over buying new. 

Christmas came and I opened my gift, it was a one-foot stool. On the bottom, written on an envelope, because why buy paper when they send it with the junk mail for free?, were the words “this is made out of recycled wood, stretch a buck.” He had made the whole thing from wood he had on hand. To be fair, I think he had enough scrap wood in his house to build a whole new house. This is one of my favorite gifts, and I still cherish it. 

If you see me at an event where I am showing my videos you can ask to see the stool, as the television I use fits on it perfectly!
If you follow Lead Sheep Productions on social media (FacebookInstagramTwitter), you know that this month, we are celebrating the men in our lives. It is incredible when we take time to understand and realize how much each person has contributed to our story.

We are looking for speaking opportunities.

Lead Sheep Productions is offering a Getting Started in Genealogy presentation. Do you know a group who would enjoy this presentation? 

Grandma Ethel’s Gift

Ethel Schwartz was not my biological grandmother, but from the first time we met she decided to be “Grandma Ethel.” She taught me to make Christmas cookies, and not lick the spoon while frosting them. To send thank you notes and to change the water in cut flowers every day to make them last longer. A child of the depression she valued saving and fixing and repairing things over buying new.

She was the subject of my first personal history video, which I made for her and Grandpa Don’s 60th anniversary. She made it easy, she loved to talk about her family. The most amazing part was when she passed away 5 years later we played the video during her wake and family and friends huddled around the TV and laughed and cried as she got to tell her own story. As the family was preparing for the funeral, we also found a journal her daughter had given her years before for Christmas. It asked her questions about her life and we all learned something new about her in reading it. This is the inspiration for our Life Moments Guided Journals which we are excited to announce will be available in June (’19).If you follow Lead Sheep Productions on social media (Facebook, InstagramTwitter), you know that this month we are celebrating the woman in our lives. It is incredible when we take time to understand and  realize how much each person has contributed to our story.

Book Suggestion: The Stories We Leave Behind: A Legacy-Based Approach to Dealing with Stuff by Laura Gilbert.  

Book Link >

Uphill, both ways

The winter of 2019 has been ridiculous. The snowiest February on record, temperatures that make freezing feel tropical, and dreary gray skies. School has been cancelled more days in one month than my entire school career. Recently there was a discussion on a Facebook group for my graduating class asking if kids today are less hardy than we were.

When I was a kid the saying “when I was your age I had to walk to school, uphill both ways” was a standard answer to any child’s complaints. It was obviously an exaggeration, but how did our parents get to school? And were they really hardier than us? Kids today?

Or do we just remember ourselves this way? Memory is not like a video recording. We remember certain events and forget others. Memories can be influenced by our later experiences, and can be triggered by a smell, a photograph, a place, or a person. 

Hopefully, this winter will soon be a memory and we will be making new memories experiencing a sunny, warm spring.


Celebrate a life together

For Bob and Pat’s 58th anniversary, their children gifted them a video interview with Amanda. They preserved the story of how they met, Pat moving from England to the US after their marriage, their favorite moments, and their advice from the lessons of 58 years. Their family cherishes the short video.