I wish more people would write down their life stories — or at least a few stories about their lives.
My two favorite storytellers are my husband and my dad.
My husband Esteban’s stories remind me of Mark Twain. They’re full of humor and mischief and wisdom. They’re grounded in deep personal history, the kind that comes from growing up in a small city in the Midwest. He still hangs out with his childhood friends, and he still points out their parents’ houses when we drive by.
My dad’s are more like Kipling — exotic tales from far-off lands. I love his story about the monkey-pod table he bought in the Philippines. And recollections of his grandma, a California homesteader, who made him eat acorn bread. There’s also the one about the time he had to chase cows away from his canvas airplane in an English field, and the mugger he evaded by playing dumb.
Our stories are what shape us. They become our own personal mythology — the tales by which we’re remembered.
I’ve started recording a few of my family’s stories. Who cares if no one believes that an orangutan fell in love with my sister, or that I came home from camp with a human skull?
Good stories deserve to be told.