Certified StoryWay Guide
Hi. My name is Mark Collins, and I would love to help you to preserve your family’s story and spirit.
I’m a StoryWay Guide because, as a history teacher, I love the stories that real people can tell about the past, and think it’s important to preserve them for the future. Also, as a pastor, I know that honoring someone by giving them an opportunity to sit down and tell their story is a deeply meaningful gift. Of course, it is a gift beyond price for those who will be able to hear those voices and read the stories in the days and years that follow.
My favorite family story comes from my own grandmother, now gone. She once recalled the victory garden my grandfather had planted and doted over during World War II in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was especially interested in his tomatoes, and diligently went out every morning and evening to pick off and squash any tomato worms that appeared and to check on the progress of his crop.
My grandmother was a quiet woman, but had a wicked sense of humor. While he was gone one day, she went to a hot house and bought several large, plump tomatoes and tied them onto the lower branches of the tomato plants – and waited. Finally, Grandpa came home, and before he even came into the house he was at the tomato plants, hard at work squishing worms and inspecting his plants as Grandma watched from the kitchen window.
It didn’t take long. In a few moments, my Grandpa called out, “Oh, Hilda!” He rushed into the house, his face red with excitement and his hands full of the voluptuous fruits, only to find my grandmother giggling as he rushed in the door.
I don’t have a recording of her telling the story, nor can I hear the priceless giggles that came with its telling. I wish I did.
You can. I would be honored if you allowed me to help you and your family save your invaluable memories – and the giggles and tears that come with them. Let me help you keep your legacy alive.