Monday, January 27, 2014

Do You Read Memoirs?

      George W. Bush Museum in Dallas
                                                                                       Father and Son in Courtyard

We went to visit the SMU campus and the George W Bush Museum today in the southeastern part of Dallas. Our oldest granddaughter will be attending Southern Methodist University next fall so we were especially interested in seeing the campus and I'd been wanting to see the Museum ever since it opened.

Ken and I have visited several presidential museums over the years. Each one is a little different, each one is a portion of our history. Each one has touched my heart in numerous ways. 

Many memoirs have been written by presidents and first ladies through the years. One that I especially enjyed was Barbara Bush's book. Such a wise, witty woman with a tongue that could be both sweet and acid, fitting the situation. No phony but an honest, kind and courageous woman. 

If you have not read memoirs in the past, consider doing so soon. As well as a  slice of history, they are a glimpse into someone else's life. We can't help but compare these lives to our own. There are major differences but also enough similarities that we can identify with the person whose memoir it is. We see reasons for actions and gain an appreciation of what these political figures had to deal with. Famous? Yes. Even so, they are also real people who act and react just as many of us do and would given the same situations. 

We tend to judge celebrities from the things we read in the papers and see on TV. They're one-sided views. Reading their memoirs gives us another viewpoint. Memoir writing is quite in vogue now. Give it a try--pick out someone you admire or even someone you don't. Read their story in their own words. 

Consider writing your own memoir. I have written bits and pieces, especially for Chicken Soup books that qualify as memoir. I once attended a workshop where the presenter said that ...memoir writing allows us to chew life twice. I think those who write memoirs end up seeing life in various lights. I have surprised myself in some of the revelations I've found in writing about my life through the years. 

Tomorrow, we move on to Fredericksburg, Texas down in the Hill Country. More on that in my next post.

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