Sunday, August 31, 2008

When to collect stories : School Days

If ever there was time to collect stories and record shared memories, back to school is just such a time! No matter our age, no matter where we were, the feeling that something was going to happen haunts us still.

In the fall of 1986 I was studying at York University. In a first brush with the study of folklore I had the opportunity to collect "Yorklore". This was the title I gave to my collection of stories shared by faculty, staff and students about something they had experienced while at York. They were short or longer, they ranged between beliefs stories and anecdotes, humorous or mysterious. I still feel privileged by the tellers generosity in sharing these with me. Here is one such story;

"It was a the winter of 1985.
Three of us were support staff and we spotted
a body outside lying on the snow.
Watching for a few moments
and observing the body was motionless
security was called in to investigate.
Having taken CPR training the staff
still felt ill equipped to deal with an emergency.
Upon arriving the Security guards
quickly assessed the situation while the staff looked
on "safely" from the window.
All were relieved when it was obvious our victim,
whom the staff thought
might be dead, was only drunk.

Their imagination had wandered
from assault to suicide.

Being dead drunk hadn't entered
the repertoire of victim.

Strictly a sober set !
What do Realtors say about selling? Location, Location, Location! Collecting stories can take place anywhere; an intimate corner at a Christmas gathering, on the porch while taking in the breeze, during a pancake breakfast with colleagues, an anniversary celebration. The place and time is determined by You and the Teller. You choose when and just record. Take it down in notes, a tape recorder, whatever fashion works best for you. Respect the act of sharing and stay true to the story.

It could be your returning to University or College, or perhaps your child's first day, record the moment, and share the telling,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hiatus over

Stories abound following an extended break from blogging. Never far from my thoughts, familore and how these stories come about have multiplied as they will do.

My nephew got married yesterday at Columbia University in N.Y. A few days earlier his mother, my sister was leaving to participate at this special event. I reminded her that it was because of her son we had shared a concert. It was "Foreigner" at the National Art Center. The audience, middle age+, a wave of white and gray haired. At the finale everyone on their feet singing along with the band. Rocking to the music, we laughed at the passage of time, the ability of lyrics to bring back memories and at ourselves for having the power to enjoy it.

My publishing schedule for this fall will be every Sunday.

Now sit back, relax and remember Foreigner