I recently attended my 40th class school reunion out in Southern California. There was a whirlwind of activities, two parties on a Friday night, the real reunion on Saturday night and then a brunch picnic the following Sunday morning. I didn’t attend the brunch, choosing instead to have breakfast with a small group of woman I have known since I was a very young girl. It was a good choice. It allowed us an intimate time to reflect on our lives and the past two days, and I didn’t want to…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on October 30, 2013 at 5:52pm — No Comments
This week an article about the process of immortalizing one’s memories made it to a special Retirement section in the New York Times. My company, Legacy Multimedia, was prominently featured along with other projects and organizations that focus on the preservation of physical mementos and recording of memoirs.
For me, this is incredible validation of the work I do. The excitement I feel working with each new client, discovering who they…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on March 20, 2013 at 1:05pm — No Comments
2013 marks the 10 year anniversary of Legacy Multimedia. It will be later this fall and I will commemorate the decade in a fitting manner…. later.
Right now, with the new year, and this huge blank slate of time before me, I want to focus on my new mantra regarding my own personal history, “get ‘er done!” (Since I live in Texas, I can talk to myself in cowboy language.)
Right about the time that I was starting Legacy Multimedia, I also started the long and complex process of…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on January 4, 2013 at 5:04pm — No Comments
Last week I was at an annual conference for the Association of Personal Historians in St. Louis, Missouri. This is my fourth conference to attend, and one of the highlights for me is catching up with people from all over the world that I communicate with regularly but don’t get to see in person all too often, as well as meeting new historians and learning about the work that they are up to.
This year I had the pleasure of having dinner with a Danish woman. She told me about a long…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on October 31, 2012 at 12:57pm — No Comments
First of all, what is oral history? Put simply it is a collection of testimonies by living persons to record their unique life stories. They are not based on gossip, hearsay or rumors. Instead, oral histories are chronicles of direct observations as told by the people who witnessed the events or lived through the experiences being described. They are taken straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak.
This can be a great way of capturing the life and times of your family, close…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on September 29, 2012 at 10:37am — No Comments
A Hope Chest was originally used as a dowry. It was property that a woman owned and brought into her marriage. Some women could not find a suitable husband, for various factors; therefore, the dowry was used as a way of enticing a man into marriage.
The idea of a Hope Chest symbolizes so many hopes and dreams. It’s about seeing the future unfold before your very eyes and it’s about preserving a lifetime of memories and building a family legacy, a heritage. It’s a place where a young…Continue
What would it look like if you had a computer with every single memory stored on it forever? You would be able to access every webpage you’ve ever looked at, every email you’ve read, every photo you’ve taken or been in, videos of your public speeches, records of conversations. Everything that you felt was important or not important stored away for you to review or others to find out about you.
Back in the late 1990′s Gordon Bell decided, like many of us, to start scanning and…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on June 21, 2012 at 4:43pm — No Comments
A couple of weeks ago my husband and I went to visit our friends in New Braunfels, a town near San Antonio, Texas. The next town over, Gruene, (pronounced, for some unexplainable reason, as Green) is a well-known tourist spot and home to Gruene Hall, built in 1878 and the oldest continually running dance hall in Texas. Many famous musicians have made their start at Gruene Hall and often come back frequently to relax and entertain.
The night we were there, Jerry Jeff Walker was in the…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on June 6, 2012 at 1:34pm — No Comments
This article, in an edited format, was written for the Houston Business Journal and ran in it’s “Best Places to Work” issue in July of 2008. I am sharing this as I never posted it to my blog when it originally written.”
Employee acknowledgment is one of the best tools a company can use for creating a work environment that fosters loyalty and stimulates high achievement. Put simply, people appreciate and respond to recognition. They are motivated by praise, which validates and…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on May 31, 2012 at 6:43pm — No Comments
Note: This article was originally published in January 2008:
This past week I had the privilege of seeing Muhammad Yunus speak at a World Affairs Council of Houston luncheon. Yunus, of Bangladesh, is a 2006 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and a 1999 recipient of the Indira Gandhi prize for peace, disarmament and development in India.
In the late 1970′s, he started Grameen Bank (“Bank of Villages”, in Bangla) to address the…
Added by Stefani Twyford on May 5, 2012 at 5:08pm — No Comments
Dan Curtis, my friend and fellow Personal Historian in Victoria, BC, recently penned this excellent blog posting on determining the costs of a personal history. This article tackles head-on, the perceived discrepancies of pricing when shopping for a historian. From the buyer’s point of view, it can often be difficult shopping for this service as in their mind, they’re just looking for a tribute, and may not appreciate the vast range of options available today. Dan has attempted to provide…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on April 9, 2012 at 11:23am — No Comments
Since October is Family History Month, I was already thinking about this subject for a new blog article when a Canadian writer and film producer named Robb Lucy asked that I make a contribution to his new book. Scheduled for publication in the Spring of 2009, it is tentatively titled “Legacies aren’t for dead people – It’s about creating and really enjoying yours… now!”
Robb wanted to get additional perspectives on this specialized form of storytelling from other professional…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on March 28, 2012 at 4:39pm — No Comments
I have been working on what I refer to as a long-format video biography. My client has hired me for a year to develop a personal history as well as to film significant events during the year. We’ve been doing this since November 2011 and so far we’ve shot four different events. A couple of the events, we’ve turned into short individual videos to send out to people who attended while other footage is waiting to fit into its bigger scope.
Sunday I was at my client’s Super Bowl party,…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on February 8, 2012 at 5:13pm — No Comments
Part 2 of a series about capturing the joy of family events on video
Last week I introduced this series about creating videos to capture the joy of family events and special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and holiday get-togethers. Now let’s delve a bit deep into the process by discussing the first of four main phases used in multimedia productions – concepting / script writing.
First, try to develop a concept that really captures the spirit…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on January 22, 2012 at 4:23pm — No Comments
Part 1 – Overview (This will be part 1 of a 5 part series)
Okay, admit it. What do you normally think when someone announces, “It’s time to show Home Movies”? You mentally roll your eyes while giving them a blank stare or at best, a forced smile don’t you? That’s because most home movies are dreadfully boring affairs with no audience appeal outside the immediate family. The joy of these events is often lost in the transition from live experiences to the screen. Well, it doesn’t have…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on January 15, 2012 at 5:01pm — No Comments
Recently I was one of three guest speakers on tonight’s GeneaBloggers Radio – Episode 45
The title of the show is “Capturing Family Memories – All Year Round.”
You can go to my blog to listen to a clip from the show:
Scroll down to Televsion and Radio, it is the first…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on December 15, 2011 at 6:25pm — No Comments
My father, Martin Elkort, is a collected and noteworthy photographer. His body of work, shot during a period of enormous possibility in our country, evokes feelings of both excitement and nostalgia in those that view and collect his photographs. Since my dad has become collectible, I’ve been to many of his shows and talked to gallery owners and collectors about his work and their own collections. The question always comes up whether I…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on November 18, 2011 at 5:59pm — No Comments
I have a new client that I just started working with. One of my customs is to request an invitation to dinner with the family before I start work. This gives me an excellent opportunity to study the social dynamics of each family. I get the opportunity to see them interact with each other in a relaxed atmosphere. I also request to be seated next to the subject(s) so I can see how easy they are to engage in conversation, what their memory is like and other communication traits. This helps me…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on November 6, 2011 at 5:33pm — No Comments
When I worked on my own autobiography several years ago, I used this technique which I sort of invented ( I say that because I’ve never heard of anyone else using it either in my background as a social worker or speaking with other personal historians). What I would do is to find an old picture of me from a time period that my memories were vague. I would look at the photo and start placing concrete things into my memory.
For instance, there is a photo of me taken on a piano bench…Continue
Added by Stefani Twyford on October 4, 2011 at 11:41am — No Comments
Lately, I keep running into people who say, “I haven’t checked into your blog this week but I’m wondering how things are going with your parents?”
These are questions that make me happy because I’m thrilled to know that people read my blog and feel the desire to catch up with what’s going on. Also, this life stage with my parents seems to resonate with so many of my friends and readers. So many people have dealt with, or are dealing with, this stage in life where you’ve finally gotten…
Added by Stefani Twyford on August 18, 2011 at 9:32am — No Comments