Todd’s Note: This article is inspired by The Liberty Seed presentation and the book Paul Revere’s Ride by David Hackett Fischer.
About 8 months ago, I purchased a GBoom speaker. It is a big speaker, with a rechargeable battery and connects to devices through bluetooth. I often use it outside when I’m bbq’ing by the pool. I mostly use Pandora and listen to a reggae or the Bob Marley station. When I do this, being outside by the pool, in the Houston, Texas humidity, it bring back memories of the time my family took a cruise out of Galveston to the Caribbean. It was a fun time and we still talk about it. If I really want to remember specifics, I can pull up the many pictures we took on our digital cameras. But if the SHTF and we don’t have access to Pandora and our digital devices, how will we celebrate our important memories? We might get some ideas by looking at our past.
In 1765, during a time when the American colonies were experiencing an economic downturn, the British Parliament decided to levy taxes on the colonies, causing even more economic strain on the population. The Townshend Acts were not well received. As a result, a letter written by Samuel Adams, known as the Massachusetts Circular Letter, circulated among the colonist.
In the Circular Letter, Samuel Adams argued that the Townshend Acts were unconstitutional because the colony of Massachusetts was not represented in Parliament. Adams maintained that Parliament’s status as the supreme legislative body of the British Empire did not permit it to violate the British Constitution and the natural rights of the colonists. Adams made it clear that he was not advocating colonial representation in Parliament: because the American Colonies were “separated by an ocean of a thousand leagues” from Great Britain, he thought it was impractical for them to be properly represented in Parliament. Instead, Adams argued in favor of the previous arrangement, where the colonies were taxed only by their own provincial assemblies in which they were already represented. Source: Wikipedia
Of course, King George didn’t like the Massachusetts Circular Letter being circulated and he demanded that the letter be rescinded. The Massachusetts Legislature refused the demand by a vote of 92 to 17. To commemorate this moment, The Sons of Liberty commissioned Paul Revere, a silversmith, to make a bowl to commemorate the “Glorious 92.” The Rescinders’ Bowl is a an American icon, one that you probably haven’t heard about.
The Rescinders’ Bowl tells a story. It helps us to bridge our time and the time of 1765 and helps us to understand some of the important steps that led up to the American Revolution. Although casting and engraving a big silver bowl is probably out of our reach, what can we do now, and even when the SHTF to help remember and commemorate our important events, our memories?
5 Ways to Celebrate Memories When the SHTF
Become A Story Teller
The spoken word is very powerful. Being able to share a family or other memory in a form of a story is a great skill. But, telling a story is easy to remember too. Every culture has their oral traditions. For a lot of our “human” history, the spoken word or oral tradition was all that was available.
When we go out to the country and sit under the stars, dad loves to recount his stories. Over the years, I’ve heard many stories. But there are times when he shares a story that I haven’t heard before. Times like this allow us to know a little bit about our parents and grandparents or family that we might not have otherwise known.
When I get together with my wife’s side of the family, quite often they just sit around a recount stories from the past too. In the living room or outside under the patio, everyone gets into the story by adding to it or asking clarifying questions.
What story would you share? Have you practiced what you would say?
Keep a “Memories” Journal
Journaling and keeping a diary has always been a way for individuals to write down and remember their day. Keeping up with every day events could be a little more than most would like to commit too. But, keeping a journal of memorable events is definitely doable. The journal can be kept by the person recording the event at the time that it happened, or a family member, who wants to be able to remember the stories of a grandfather or old uncle would be appreciated by future generations.
“One day, it was time for Uncle Pete to slaughter the pig, Ms. Pudge. He entered the pen and placed a rope around the huge pig. Ms. Pudge came willingly at first, but right before Uncle Pete exited the pen, Ms. Pudge jerked. She must have known what was going to happen because she didn’t want to move.
Uncle Pete was holding on to the rope so tight that when Ms. Pudge jerked, it made him fall and land right in a pile of poop! Uncle Pete has poop on his face and all over his clothes. Aunt Laraine wouldn’t allow him in the house since he smelled so bad. She made him wash off outside with the water hose. But his clothes were so nasty that she had him burn them in the burn bin. Those were his favorite overalls! By the way…Ms. Pudge made some great bacon!”
Engrave a Shingle
A while back I linked to a video on how to use a shingle fro. Basically, it makes a wood shingle out of a log. You can make the shingle as thick or as thin as you like. But by making a shingle, you create a flat surface that is easily carved. It’s not a silver bowl, but you can easily carve out a scene or words to help commemorate a special date like a wedding.
Link Memories to High Emotions
We don’t usually remember the mundane. Life comes and goes, the sun rises and falls and we quickly move from ordinary to ordinary. But we do remember and recall the highly emotional times. We easily remember time when we are really happy or times when we’re really sad. So for example, you might remember very specific details of the day your child was born 20 years ago. But you probably won’t remember what you had for lunch last Tuesday. Again, this can happen with really sad or stressful moments as well as the happy times. That’s why we remember things we don’t want to. So, the key here is to link the things you want to remember to something very emotional in your life.
Do It in Song
Even when the SHTF, people are going to make music. The best songs tell a story. Using a guitar, with three chords, you can write a memorable song. And it is very easy to memorize songs!
This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.
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You’re so right. I’m the family historian and also one of the seasoned members of the family. On birthdays and death days of family members, I take the time to write them down and send the off to family. Some come back with edits which is ok…it makes for inclusion and hopefully allowing for the passing of said stories. I have just acquired generations of pictures which are being digitalized and I’m learning how to preserve not just the digital but the originals for long term keeping. Even these are being scattered to family so history can continue. I have a whole new view on the history of the US as I have gathered stories of those who have gone before me. Storytelling? You bet. Super heroes, yes, they can be found in our own families. Thanks for the article.
Convert oral history to written history, and/or convert a web log to hard copy as a historical record. I am doing that, primarily for my 12 grandchildren. I have written many entries on topics like, home made phones, homemade electricity, and a story about my Dad riding the first airplane he ever saw. Here is my latest entry “How Sweet it is After Six Generations” (making Maple Syrup) http://www.homesteadshepherd.com/how-sweet-it-is-after-six-generations/ This link explains how I began writing this history http://www.homesteadshepherd.com/yesterday-and-today/