Recording Your Memories

By: Sarah Rasmussen Email
By: Sarah Rasmussen Email

Can you remember a time when you sat on the lap of a grandparent or a loved one and listened to their childhood stories or soaked up their advice?

Can you remember what exactly they said?

Now a New York company is working with some local organizations to help seniors and their family members capture important memories forever.

Seniors and family members are at the L.E. Phillips Senior Center in Eau Claire Wednesday and Thursday recording their memories.

StoryCorps Memory Loss Initiative from New York puts those memories onto CD’s for family members to share.

Seniors at L.E. Phillips Senior Center say they're not getting any younger, but they want future young one's to remember them.

"Sometimes we don’t tell our stories to our families. We either forget or it just goes by the way side,” said Jan Etnier.

She is preserving her stories for future generations.

With the help of StoryCorps, seniors like Etnier and family members sit in "conversation sessions" where their memories are captured and put onto a CD.

The family is given one copy of the CD, the other goes to the Library of Congress.

"Generations upon generations are going to be able to hear and learn about their loved one's lives,” said Paula Gibson.

Gibson is the Community Relations Director for Harbor House Memory Care.

She sees people losing their memories on a daily basis and says the sooner you save those cherished memories, the better.

"You can never get words back and you can never get stories or memories back,” said Gibson.

StoryCorps says people can record any type of memory, from their wedding day, to the day they found out they had Alzheimer’s.

Gibson says the goal is to have the Library of Congress put a picture of the person and their audio files on the internet; so, families can access them from home for years to come.

"It's sort of a piece of history that you can have for your family forever,” said Etnier.

Gibson says you can record your memories onto a CD with the help of StoryCorps by calling 1-800-850-4406. The company can rent you the equipment needed to record your CD. Also, there is a StoryCorps recording booth in Milwaukee. Sometimes, she says the company will come to you.

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