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  • May21

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    'Bessie Egan' is written on reverse.'The girl in this Irish photo from our family albums is still a mystery to me, even with a named written on the reverse of the photo: “Bessie Egan.” No one on in that part of the family on either side of the Atlantic has yet recognized the name, although my Grandmother did have a daughter Elizabeth that remained in Ireland until at least her early teens. However, later known photos of Elizabeth don’t really look like this girl to me.

    In any case, even with her unknown identity, it is one of my favorite family photos.

  • Apr26

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    Mike Tierney & Pals, Central ParkA favorite photo of my Dad and some pals on a hill in a very un-treed Central Park, probably about 1942. (He’s on the left.)

    I believe the two-towered building back behind them is the San Remo building, which you can read more about on this Flickr page if you are so inclined.

    So, I’d guess they are probably standing somewhere in line with 65th Street or so.

    I’ll have to check out that spot next time I am in the neighborhood and see if I can find that hill.

  • Apr3

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    I was very excited to watch the Rootstech live streams this year and especially loved the ones from the Story@Home track.

    Rootstech 2013
    As a followup to my last post Story, Structure, Napkins, and Lasagna I thought I would post this quick entry pointing to the video streams from two excellent presentations –

    Syd Liberman’s talk during the Thursday Keynote (See his own site here.)

    Kim Weitkamp’s Tell It Again (Visit her site here.)

    I was going to embed the video for both in this post, but couldn’t stop them from autoplaying so have linked to the Rootstech site instead.

    Also, there does not seem to be a direct link to Syd Liberman’s place in the Keynote lineup, so you’ll have to scroll it to some time after the 35 minute mark in the video to catch him. (I had quite a bit of trouble getting that player to get to the exact location I wanted, but the effort was worth it.)

  • Apr2

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    Girl with Flowers and Chair - IrelandSeveral months ago I wrote a post called Life on the Banks where I briefly discussed how the smaller details of life can sometimes surprisingly provide the most satisfying stories.

    My experience while visiting Holy Cross church in Manhattan where my grandparents married 90 years before opened my perspective to the often hidden importance of place and detail to the long story.

    In that post I also pointed to an interesting episode of the How Sound podcast, that discussed “intimate journalism” and introduced me to the writing of Will Durant. (See Life on the Banks for more on that.)

    How Sound Logo Well, for you writers and hopeful storytellers, I have another interesting and useful episode of that podcast to link to – My Kingdom For Some Structure goes over the various methods of storytelling used by well-known radio programs.  I especially love the very simple napkin drawings that depict the structures.

    The night after I listened to this episode, I sat down with my 9 year old son to talk about how me might tell some family stories together using both writing and media. Showing him the How Sound post and the napkin drawings gave him a clearer picture of what I was trying to explain to him. (I think. Who really knows what is going on in a 9 year old’s head? I’m sure there’s some Willy Wonka in there. and Minifig Lego men. and lasagna.)

    Image Fragment - Sabina Tierney and Dog If you are trying to learn more about how you might bring your family’s story to life, I suggest you check out those two How Sound podcasts – and follow the feed in general for many excellent tips and tools to help you along.

    Then use those tools to help your stories to the surface – and perhaps even find some hidden behind the ones that are more obvious.

  • Mar18

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    Last summer in my blog post Then and Now: Simanek Family Home I described a nice find when I looked up my grandmother’s home in the Czech Republic using Google Street View and then found a matching photo in our family albums.

    Aaand, we’re back in The Republic again!

    First, thanks to a distant cousin, Pavel Vanac who sends me all sorts of links and information on our shared Vanac lines. He has been looking for all the Vanacs and descendants and is hoping to have a reunion one day in Prague and I really hope I can attend.

    For this year he has scaled back the idea to an online reunion – which may be difficult since I have only a tiny bit of the Czech language in my brain. (We normally communicate using Google Translate between us – which has sparked some fun confusion on both sides.) But I am still looking forward to that!

    Back to the story here – Pavel sent me a small photo over the weekend with the message: Read More | Comments