A “Backlog of History”
When I give my presentations, I implore the audience to record their histories, get out those old photos, preserve them, etc. I found it interesting this week that as I was reading an essay by Cullen Murphy, Backlogs of History, published in the Atlantic Monthly 1996, I felt justified in my pleas. He had discovered an old hospital bill that his parents saved from the time he was born.
He writes, “I was struck by something else: that among all those decades worth of family documents my parents had looked through, the delivery bill ($186) was the only thing they thought of sufficient interest to pass along.” (I have my delivery bill from 1939. Yep…less than $100!) So what do we keep? What is important to us? What do we leave for the next generations, understanding that the amount of accumulated “stuff’ can choke a land fill if we let it? Murphy asks…”What should the policy be toward children’s drawings and report cards? Toward family photographs and wedding mementos??”
I maintain that the photos are most important. From them we tell our story. Below is a picture of my family at the Park.