Free Heirloom Stories™
Use our Family stories to create yours...for free.
Harnessmaker's Son is an excellent memory trigger for family stories. When people give copies to their elders, they often get back their own similar stories.
Harnessmaker's Son is also a wonderful model for family stories. Each story is an easy-to-follow example of "family story format."
Pattern your stories on these and your descendants will be reading them centuries from now.
Read a sample story from Harnessmaker's Son. If you like it, we'd like to send you the entire book for free...one story each month.
Sign up for the free family history book at the bottom of the sample story page.
Buy it now for
Grandma Ida, the Harnessmaker's widow, was famous for her homentashen, a pastry traditionally eaten during the Jewish festival of Purim.
"You could die for it," people said. One evening, shortly after making a large batch of homentashen, Grandma Ida died.
The family was saddened to hear of their loss: No more homentashen! The grandchildren rushed over to save the pastries. Now, they're preserved for eternity in Lucite.
Our homentashen heirlooms really aren't as strange as they sound. Like all heirlooms, their value is in the memories we have of the person, not the item.
We really don't need the Lucite homentashen as long as we have stories of Grandma's cooking. If we forget the stories, the Lucite blocks become worthless.
The value of an heirloom isn't in the item...it's in the stories.
Is it important to save your heirloom items? Sure. But it's more important to save the stories.
It's even more important to save the stories which don't have memory-jogging items. Those stories are easier to lose.
Why save stories?
They give descendants identity, self-esteem, and values. They transfer wisdom as they teach how to think like elders.
Elders are valued as storytellers in all societies...except ours. Since TV replaced our elder-stories, teens don't adjust to adulthood as easily. Young adults from Jack's generation didn't have to "find themselves."
We need these stories. Future generations will need them even more.
Your elders' stories are more valuable to your descendants than any vase or table. They're your most valuable heirlooms. Don't let them slip away.
Elders want to tell their stories
The older we get, the better storytellers we become. It's the one thing we improve at.
Why? Ancient human groups with storytelling elders survived better. Storytelling is so important to human survival that we developed a stage of life where we can do little else well.
For health and happiness, we need to contribute to humanity in ways we enjoy. For elders, that's storytelling. If an elder is in a situation where they can't tell stories often, they won't be as happy or healthy as they could be. The same thing happens to children who are denied playtime.
Elders might not realize they've been denied their traditional role. If you provide it for them, you'll be amazed at their renewed energy, health, and mood.
Write them down!
Record your elder's stories any way you can. Audio tapes, video, e-mail...but make sure the stories get onto paper.
Computer media are constantly changing. Tapes deteriorate in a decade or two...but ink on paper has survived centuries.
Write the stories the way they're told, in "family story format." That's short, personal, and ending with a twist...usually a laugh. Why? That format has worked for generations.
It's worth the extra time to do a good job writing and editing the stories. The more entertaining they are, the more people will read them. The more people who read them, the more good they'll do.
We suggest a monthly story mailed or e-mailed to family members. Seasonally topical stories can be sent to newspapers several weeks in advance. For an example of a Father's Day story, read An Important Man.
Let us help
We'd like to help you write your family stories...for free!
Our book, Harnessmaker's Son, contains dozens of stories which could be in any family. They're excellent memory triggers and examples of family-story format.
We'd like to send you the entire book for free...one story each month.
We would be honored if you used each month's topic as a model for your own stories, creating a similar collection of stories for your family.
Sign up for the free book by joining the newsletter at the bottom of any sample story page.
Would you like a professional author to turn your elders' tales into Heirloom Stories™? They'll be in your family for centuries.
We can also build a monthly newsletter and Web site around your elder's stories. Read about our writing services here.
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