KEEPERS OF OUR CULTURE COLUMN, May 27, 2015, by Patricia Hamilton
How much of your personal history is on your iPhone, iPad, Samsung, or whatever it is that you carry around to snap, video, or voice record? It’s the perfect way to record any or all occasions for future use. It may take a while to get in the habit, but once you do, watch out! It can be addictive.
You can post photos and videos immediately to Facebook, Pinterest, etc. and share them with family, friends, or business associates. You can order prints and have them mailed to different addresses. You can even print up a book of memories—right from your phone.
I like to show grandkid photos when I see someone who asks how Zack and Grace are. Plus, when I’m waiting for an appointment, I like to browse through my photos to relive and feel the magic of times with special people and places. I also post to social media for my business. Taken together, the photos, videos, and voice memos on my smart phone constitute pretty much all there is to know about me.
Your personal history stories may be as close as your smart handheld device too. Open it up and see. You may only have to write captions to preserve all the stories you need or want to. Your family will love you for sharing with them.
Here are a few photos of my personal history that I have on my iPhone.
Sally Higgins and my grandchildren, Zack and Grace. I took this photo just a few months before Sally was taken from us. She was very artistic and always had crafts for the children to do when we visited. Here we’re on her patio making little succulent gardens. Her special touch: drizzle beach sand and scatter seashells among the leaves. Grace still has hers.
Standing on the corner at Winslow, AZ. My client and friend, Donna Love, and I took the Amtrak to Winslow to do a book signing at Fred Harvey’s last built hotel (renovated and now owned by a friend). Before we boarded the train, I downloaded the famous Eagle’s song from iTunes. As Donna and I walked around the corner in Winslow, AZ, I played it on speakerphone. Other tourists gathered around and we all sang the song very loudly. The camaraderie was a highlight of our visit—and Donna sold three of her “Walking for Our Lives” book to the tourists!
Glenn Gobel, owner of Glenn Gobel Picture Frames on Lighthouse Ave. Glenn took extra care mounting and framing my 2nd great grandmother’s sampler that she stitched in 1847, when she was seven years old. It was fraying and disintegrating when I received it. Now it’s preserved and protected forever. Mrs. Trotter, of Trotter’s Antiques, recommended Glenn when I sought her expert advice. I recommend that you take your family heirlooms to Glenn for preservation as well.
Generations together. This family decided to rest on my family site while they snacked with the kids. They were taking a break during an El Carmelo Cemetery tour, put on by the Heritage Society of Pacific Grove in 2013. I was nearby helping Don Beals with the tour and gladly shared my stories about the people resting beneath the remnants of potato chips and lemonade. (Jane Cloyd Gale, who made the sampler, is buried there.) The families were PG residents and interested in learning about our PG history. They continued to walk around the cemetery with Don, an eminent PG historian, to visit other sites and learn more about past Pagrovians that sunny day.
Frenchie. This big boy was watching the Good Old Days Parade on Pine Avenue last month. I love animals and snap a lot of photos around our dog-friendly town. His owner says he’s the world’s largest French bulldog and I believe her. He smiled at me and begged for more fingernail skritches to his tailbone. I also have an eclectic collection of PG cats and unusual yard decor. Ask me to show you sometime!
Patricia Hamilton is the owner of Park Place Publications and works with people to archive, research, and publish their personal memoir or family history. Visit parkplacepublications.com or keepersofourculture.com to learn more about her services and classes with Associate Joyce Krieg.