Category Archives: Carolynstearnsstoryteller

5 Ways to Preserve Family Stories

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The teen sat on the park bench, hungry, tired, jobless, a boy of New Haven, Connecticut. He wondered what the world would hold for him. He sat staring into space, after awhile his focus landed on a beautiful girl across the street, near the corner of Church and Chapel Streets. She was made of wood! It was this girl that led him to climb the stairs to the third floor ship carvers shop of Mr. Northrop.

 at Mystic Seaport - Sea Music Festival 2013
at Mystic Seaport – Sea Music Festival 2013

Telling the family stories at Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival 2013

opening with a little Harmonica music in the figurehead gallery

I can almost envision him sitting there today, a gangly teen of 14, with that hungry look in his eyes. The year would have been about 1849.  I sat there, one day, for half an hour and felt the 150 years between us slip away. It was as if I sat beside his ghost. Like he was re-living the day in New Haven when his career launched and he found his path into the world. Not haunted, but living, this bench in New Haven has seen thousands of hungry sitters. How many were destined to one day sit in the White House?

George Henry Story, crossed the street, mounted the steps to the ship carvers shop on the third floor. Soon he had a position as an apprentice. He would carve wood figureheads for ships and tail boards with ships names and port of origin. Amazing, I can sit and look up at those windows, I almost hear the lost voices. A century and a half have not erased the moment. The hungry boy had found a position, and his next meal.

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George Henry Story – The Man Who Painted Lincoln

Young George started his journey from that humble park bench. Luckily he wrote an account of his experience. This is my treasure as a family stories enthusiast. I hope people look carefully to preserving their family treasures, journals, diaries and writings! Letters are also key to many family stories, even if they need further research to develop.

George went on to become apprentice to a painter and  began a painting career two years later. At age 26 he sat in the White House for three days in the office of President Abraham Lincoln. He made preliminary sketches and took copious notes of the events that transpired in the office during his visits. He then painted the White House portrait of President Lincoln, that is now hanging in the Presidential office.

Top 5 Ways To Preserve Family Stories

Save your family letters from past generations, dry, acid free, temperature and humidity stabilized

Digitize the content of fragile documents

Share documents with those motivated to make use of them

Assemble family photos with their corresponding writers – label photos

Tell the stories, repeatedly, to the younger generation

I used the writings of my Great Uncle, George Henry Story to create an award winning CD. I have only used seven of his stories from those writings. I am developing more of his content for future release.

I hope that people interested in art will find the stories of the painter equally interesting.

George Henry Story - The man Who Painted Lincoln

The CD is available on my website, I’ve shared copies with many in the family.

http://www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com/george-story.html

you can also download the stories from CD Baby

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/carolynstearnsstorytelle

 

 

What will you do with your family treasure? This week, make a point to share a family story. Your story does not have to end at the White House, it can be as simple as the day you found your lost dog, just tell it! Write your stories down, 150 years from now, someone may sit where you once did and feel they know you and your world, because you cared, and shared.

MUSEUM SQUIRREL

MUSEUM SQUIRREL

      Ever since Chevy Chase delighted viewers with the squirrel scene in “Christmas Vacation” I’ve become interested in the antics of our aerial neighbors. They are often at war with the owners of bird feeders with an economic recovery quite possible through the sales of squirrel proofing devices. The flip side of that are the… Continue Reading

Mansfield General Store – What’s the Story Here?

Mansfield General Store – What’s the Story Here?

Today is the first of a series What’s the Story Here? This series will highlight interesting people, places and things I run across. Stop back for  another installment every few days. Thanks                          Mansfield General Store – good old fashioned country charm! They sure got it right on the business card, because this is the… Continue Reading

Report From  the 30 th  CT. Storytelling Festival

Report From the 30 th CT. Storytelling Festival

My Report from the 30 th  Connecticut Storytelling Festival and Conference April 29, 30, May 1, 2011 at Conn. College New London, CT.          Anticipation hardly covers the feeling of excitement  I feel when my car heads toward New London, CT. I know before long my brain will be swirling in a sea of story.… Continue Reading

Unicorn Spotted In New York? White Deer Stories

Whenever nature paints her palette with a new color or a profound event then stories tell us why. For centuries the stories and legends  , myths and hunters tales have captivated our imagination  as we hear about the spirits in the White Deer. I’ve seen one myself, it is magical especially on a foggy morning… Continue Reading

Spanish Riding School Vienna Philharmonic Beliebte Annen Polka Johann St…

When I saw this You-Tube clip I was swept back to the days when my children watched the Disney telling of the story of these magnificent horses struggles through World War II.  In the Disney movie The miracle of the White Stallions  the portrayal of General Patton sweeping in to save the  mares  from almost… Continue Reading

Christmas Spirits

Christmas Spirits

Getting ready for the Holidays? Plan an evening of pure entertainment with Carolyn Stearns Storyteller performing my original epic piece “Christmas Spirits”. Marlborough Tavern http://www.themarlboroughtavern.com/ will host a telling on Saturday December 18, 2010 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.00 for the performance but call and get your dinner reservations in and come enjoy the… Continue Reading

The Importance of Livestock

The Importance of Livestock

The Importance of Livestock On Sunday Oct 24, 2010 at 12 noon The Willimantic Congregational Church will host a lunch follwed by a storytelling to benefit www.Heifer.org The public is welcome at the Valley St. Willimantic Church for this program. I will share stories of animals and inspiration appropriate for all ages. Questions www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com or… Continue Reading

Seacoast Fringe Festival

Seacoast Fringe Festival

Will you be coming to Portsmouth, New Hampshire or will you miss a great event? October 8, 9, 10, 2010 is the new and exciting Seacoast Fringe Festival. www.seacoastfringefestival.com The venue list is being formulated and will be posted on the website soon. The crew aboard the Fringe Festival committee are busy matching the wide… Continue Reading

Move over John Wayne, look out Clint Eastwood

( rider: Tim Stearns) What did you accomplish over the weekend in 16 seconds? In cowboy mounted shooting, the fast action rodeo type equine sport 16 seconds is a good run. For the Ct. Renegades State Championships Sept 18 & 19, 2010 Cowboys and Cowgirls from all over the Northeast descended on Enfield, Ct.’s Round… Continue Reading

In Awe of Learning

In Awe of Learning

I hope to be in awe of learning my whole life, how about you? There are so many things new to learn and discover. We get complacent in life so easily and miss opportunities. I hope to feel as excited as my Granddaughter is to learn something new. Seeing places through her eyes is like… Continue Reading

Tune In and Then Go Out

Tune In and Then Go Out

This weekend you will want to be outdoors with me! Ct. Outdoors Radio with Suzanne Thompson will tell you all about it. So tune in your dial early to hear about the A-MAZE-ING Story Slam outdoors, all natural and on the air in 3 – 2- 1 Hi, This is Carolyn Stearns and Suzanne Thompson… Continue Reading

Storytelling a Team Sport

Storytelling a Team Sport

Red Sox or Yankees? Uconn or U. Tenn? Does it matter? Mass Mouth ( http://www.massmouth.ning.com/ ) or the Moth ( http://www.themoth.org/ ) no not in storytelling or really in sports. We can choose who we follow and root for, we just need to pick our game and be enthused. Put on your Storyteller t-shirt and… Continue Reading

A-MAZE-ING Story Slam

A-MAZE-ING Story Slam

Yesterday I drove the winding Boston Turnpike ( Rte 44) which boasts many improvements since George Washington traveled it. Finally turning off to the northeast I headed in the direction of Thompson , Ct. www.thompsonct.org I came up to the green now shaded by the ginat trees and went along one side past the library… Continue Reading

Geneology of a Storytelling

Geneology of a Storytelling

Aetna, of Hartford, Ct., the insurance giant, has a huge auditorium at the home office. Yesterday ( Saturday May 8, 2010) I brought my Connecticut Stories to the Aetna 39 rs, their Retiree Group. The theatre lighting, railed balconies, carpeted main floor and huge stage behind me made for the perfect setting for sharing old… Continue Reading