East Side History Madison’s Blog

By and for the East Side History Club, a project of the Goodman Community Center

Write it down!

Posted by eastsidehistorymadison on May 26, 2009

The East Side History Club had a great meeting on Saturday May 23. The slide show brought out recollections from attendees, some of whom also brought items to show. I’ll post some of the latests anecdotes and images we’ve captured here soon.

I enjoy hearing about our neighborhood’s past–the people and places, who did what and where and when. But in the social whirl of our meetings, it’s too easy to forget the great stories we hear! And it’s easy to write them down. Why not try?

We could take a page from Wisconsin’s past and the “Yarns of Yesteryear” program. The UW-Extension and the Wisconsin Regional Writers’ Association sponsored this contest from 1974 to 1998, in which prizes were awarded for stories by Wisconsin residents recalling the “good old days” and historical events they experienced. Over 10,000 stories were collected over time. The best were published in a series of books and aired on WERN radio shows.

I’d never heard of the program until Lorraine Hawkinson of Stoughton handed me a quaint vintage photocopy of a handout from a “Yarns of Yesteryear” workshop. It details the elements of a good reminiscence. 

Why not try your hand at writing one?

-Sarah White



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