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Family stories to be told at Sunday CVHS program

VALLEY — The board of directors for the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society met Wednesday afternoon at the Bradshaw-Chambers County Library to finalize plans for the quarterly meeting to be held at 3 p.m. EDT, Sunday, July 15 in the library’s Lanier Room.

It’s not going to be the conventional kind of program where people sit and listen to a single speaker. Instead, the audience will be participants. People are invited to come to an informal setting and to share stories that were passed down over the years through their families. To make it folksy, there will be RC Colas, Moon Pies and Tom’s peanuts to give it a Chattahoochee Valley feeling.

“We think this is going to be a great program,” said CVHS President Malinda Powers.

The theme of the program is the oral history of our region.

“It’s in the spirit of collecting oral histories and documenting them,” said Dr. Mac Holderfield. “We’d like for people to share stories about what their grandfather told them about growing up in the mill village.”

Academic and public historians have been recording oral histories from individuals and groups for many years. The Cobb Archives once had an initiative to videotape WWII veterans and their stories. Structured oral history projects frequently focus the storyteller to address a specific topic such as war experiences, education, sports, music, political issues, etc.

“At our July meeting we will approach the collection of oral history in a different manner,” said Powers. “Our July meeting to a storytelling experience which is not event or issue focused but reflects the teller’s choice. Volunteers from the audience will be challenged to consider preserving their single story from decades, even from generations, past.”

Everyone present will be invited to share their historical story.

“Who gave you that story, that history?” Powers said. “What does it tell about humor, virtue, values, sin, work, learning, illness, family and so on? Why have you valued this history and kept this story of times past in your memory?”

Everyone is invited to attend to enjoy the stories and dialogue.

“Please consider sharing a story about past times in this place in the valley of the Chattahoochee and surrounding region,” Powers added. “We will arrange the seating in a square as if we were at a Sacred Harp singing in order to make our experience more intimate. Storytellers will speak from their seats. We will also video this program and save your story. We would like to acknowledge as many stories as possible in The Voice at a later date.”

When considering what to tell, participants are asked to limit themselves to five minutes.

Things to consider include, what is the oldest story, colorful or instructive, given to you that you have carried in your memory. What history of our people and this region preserved in your memory would you like to be valued and remembered by future generations?

Members of the Chattahoochee Valley Historical Society and the general public are invited to attend the program.

“Please come and be with us, share and enjoy,” Powers said.