These stories won’t disappear

A month ago we asked the people of Delta for their stories under the headline “Don’t let this virus steal your stories.”’ We thought everyone might have a bit of spare time in this pandemic to tell us one of your life’s tales.

Well, tell us you did. But let’s go back.

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Humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time. They were spoken around the community fire, painted on cave walls and drawn on that new paper “papyrus.” Records of storytelling have been found in hundreds of languages, from Sanskrit, Geek, Icelandic to old Slavonic. And now our stories are instantly read and watched around the world.

You’ve heard the proverb: “Tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever?”

I’ve been finding and telling stories of all kinds in all media (print, TV, online) for over 40 years. I’ve seen the value. Stories teach, intrigue, entertain, inform and tell us who we are and how we live.

Writer Ellen Goodman said it well: “What the next generation will value most is not what we owned, but the evidence of who we were and the tales of how we loved. In the end it’s the family stories that are worth the storage.”

So, we asked you for one story of 300 words… a story about you or someone you love, a story you don’t want to disappear, a story you’d be proud to have your descendants learn about 100, 200, 500 years from now.

And your stories came in. Here are a few examples:

·       Staying alive as the bombs dropped in Britain

·       Falling in love with our newly adopted baby in Georgia, Soviet Union

·       Lost in an arctic storm

·       Grandma – the circus wonder

·       Welsh poetry recitals versus an RAF bombing school

·       Malaysia to Winnipeg – love in the new world

·       Nature - dirt, plants, fresh air - nourishing body and soul.

Everyone has stories to tell. Yes, even you. Write or record your own or help a loved one tell theirs. Few of us will be remembered for our riches. But all of us will be remembered for the stories we leave behind to be re-told over… and over... and…

Tsawwassen resident Robb Lucy is an author, speaker and producer. His recent book, How Will You Be Remembered? The Definitive Guide to Creating and Sharing Your Life Stories, is available at Albany Books. For assistance in gathering your family stories, contact him at: stories@createmylegacy.com.

Here is Peg’s story:

The Parachute Wedding

It was 1945 in Liverpool. I had met my future husband at a “welcome home from the war” party by the local government department that I worked for. The party was arranged for service men and women returning to their jobs which had been kept open during the war.

I was 19 and Stan was 28. We got engaged two years later and planned a June wedding.

As we were all still being rationed, both our families wanted to help with food coupons and I was allowed extra clothing coupons as a future bride.

I really wanted a white wedding. These had been few and far between during the war years and most couples had settled for a registry office ceremony.

wedding photo
Peg and Stan were married in 1947. No one would guess her wedding gown was made from a silk parachute! - courtesy Peg Boocock

We booked the church and reception venue and slowly over the next few months sent out invitations.

I chose my four bridesmaids and we excitedly shopped for their dresses. I had not thought too much about my dress but when I did decide to look for it -- horror upon horror -- there were no coupons left! Before I could panic too much, I heard the local market was selling material which did not require coupons.

A very clever dressmaker offered to make my dress and so was born the most unusual and unique wedding dress of all… made from a parachute! Yes, a beautiful white silk parachute from the war. The only time I had seen a parachute was when it was one of many hanging in the sky.

I suspect I am the only bride in the world to have worn such a beautiful “parachute” on her wedding day. I even had my shoes covered in the same silk material to match the dress.

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