After taking a nine-week Life Stories class, my groups continue meeting for six monthly follow-ups to share stories they have newly written and to be motivated to go home and write some more. In one of last week's follow-up groups, Nancy brought a scrapbook of Grand Canyon vacation photos to go with a recently written story. She carried the scrapbook in a Beatles tote, prompting a classmate to mention that her family had gotten a new color TV shortly before that February night in 1964 when the Beatles were guests on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Deb remembered that she sat cross-legged on the floor directly in front of the TV as she got completely engrossed in The Beatles' live performance. Nancy shared that she anticipated that her father would not appreciate the normal giddiness of a teenage girl reacting to her rock idols, so she watched the show at a friends' house, where she and her friend could scream as loud as they wanted along with teenage girls across the country.
Deb and Nancy reminded me that memory prompts surround us every day. The key is to pay attention to them and, ultimately, put the stories in writing. In doing so in this case, Deb and Nancy will put themselves in the middle of pop music history for their families' younger generations who hear about that first U.S. television appearance by that musical phenomenon from Liverpool.