Archive for Our Stories
It seems for every generation there is one event that changes the course of history. It's the day that people begin stories about with, "I remember where I was when..."
My love of history is really a love of stories and story telling. It is why I wanted to work on historical documentaries and why I wanted to work at AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. A good story is full of the dramatic and emotional, and the best ones have a surprise outcome you didn't see coming. This love and interest in storytelling translates to my love (and obsession) of sports. It's an immediate history that unfolds in front of you, especially during a playoff series with a hated rival. As the stakes get higher, the games get as dramatic and emotional as any great story should. It's also why I wanted to work in sports. Growing up a Boston Sports fan, I've learned the outcome of the 'story' may not always be to my liking. But in this decade I've witnessed the greatest comeback in sports history and an unprecedented number of championships in one decade. And the story isn't over yet.
Walter J. Lord, a native of Irving, Texas, who will soon be celebrating his 82nd birthday, recently submitted to the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE "Share Your Story" feature. In response to the question "Who is the Greatest Civil War General?" he attached a scanned image of a yellowed piece of paper with Appomattox Court House, Va printed across the top and an official looking seal on the left. "What can you tell me about this pass?" Lord wrote. "Is it real?"
I am a certified history nerd. I take all history classes, read history blogs, go on long Wikipedia adventures, and even regale people I have barely met with random historical facts. I have not always been this way, however; in fact, there was a time that for me the word "history" was synonymous with the most painful extremes of boredom.
We stumbled upon the blog of one of our Facebook friends, Mac Engel, who yesterday posted an article called "Top 5 Manliest Ways to Go Out..." The blog post was inspired by the recent news of a man being mauled by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. The staff here was amused to find that three of the five "manliest ways to die" were the subjects of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries.
Sometimes specific holidays can take on special and personal meanings for people -- Memorial Day for the family of a fallen soldier, Labor Day for a refugee that used to work 14-hour days in a sweatshop. For me, the 4th of July has a special meaning -- not because I'm a born-and-bred American, but rather because that is precisely what I am not. The U.S. is my country because I chose it.