Treasures Among Paper

By Barbara Mitchell

How has FOREVER helped aid in the preservation of my legacy?

Last May, I sent my parents’ wedding album to be digitized at the FOREVER Box Center. My parents were married in 1950. I knew that I wanted to create a photobook from the pictures. When I started the project in FOREVER Artisan Software, I realized that I would only be able to fill 19 of the 21 minimum pages, as their album was a small one with not a lot of photos.

I’m a FOREVER Ambassador, so seeking advice, I called my upline. She suggested that maybe there was a special story of how my parents met that I could include. No, none of us kids knew of a special story. My father passed in 1997, and my mother in 2006, so asking them was not possible. We asked my one living aunt (my mother's sister). She didn't remember any special story either. To be fair, she would have been 12 when they first met!

So, not having a special story about when they met, I started digging through the local newspaper where I grew up, as my mom grew up just up the street from our house. I thought I could find their engagement announcement and maybe some other related articles to add to the photobook. Boy was I surprised! I found the wedding announcement for my grandparents (my mom's parents), birth announcements for my mom and her siblings, birth announcements for my siblings and I, articles about the building permit my dad obtained to build our house (and subsequent addition), articles about my mom being in 4H and things she did, articles about my grandmother participating in different ladies groups, the article about my grandfather's death (he died of a heart attack while hunting), and so much more!

I even found an article about my uncle who had taken the police on a chase when he was 17 (1947) and evaded jail by paying a fine, having his driver's license "taken up" for thirty days, and agreeing not to be with "four associates"! What a hoot! I had never heard this story, and my sister suggested calling my aunt to verify, as he was her (late) husband. I said that I wasn't calling my 86 year old aunt to ask if her husband had a "criminal" history, so she did. Yes, the story was true!

My father grew up in a town not far from my hometown. However, it was very small, and it did not have its own newspaper. I am currently searching the newspaper of the nearest larger town that I believe would have serviced his little community to see what information I can dig up on him before he moved to my hometown and married mom.

So, to answer how FOREVER has aided in the preservation of my legacy would be to say that having my parents' wedding album converted to digital format opened a plethora of information about my mom, my grandparents, and my aunts and uncles that will be included in the pages following my parents' wedding photos. Had I never sent the album to FOREVER for digitization, it would have stayed in my mom's cedar chest (now mine) and would have just been a wedding album with no other family history. But now I know my story - I can’t wait to discover more.

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