I’ve heard the old saying that we become our parents. I happen to be a combination of mine. My father was a delightful storyteller about his youth. He couldn’t have written down a good tale but he sure could tell them. My mother was a saver of everything which came from the fact she lived through the thirties, depression years, and thank goodness I picked that up from her.
So I grew up with a treasure trove right under my nose and didn’t realize it. This treasure was in the small right hand drawer on an antique sideboard in Mom’s kitchen. As time went by every picture, newspaper article, funeral card and anything else that sealed in our memories a family happening was placed in that drawer. Finally, the drawer was so stuffed, pictures hung up. One day I volunteered to clean that drawer out and sort by years Sorting wasn’t easy since the pictures hadn’t been identified on the back until Mom told me names and dates. I’m glad I had her do that so I can look on the family tree and put a face to a name. My intention was to put the pictures in scrapbooks. I found that a slow go so after filling one scrapbook I dumped the rest of the pictures back in the drawer. There was enough space for awhile to make the drawer close easily.
When my mom passed away, I inherited that drawer full of pictures and dumped them in a box which I stored in a closet. I didn’t see this box as a treasure yet, but I couldn’t make myself throw away mementos that Mom treasured.
I got a subscription for Good Old Days so I could read the stories that happened before 1959 to the residents at the nursing home. The stories are good for discussion groups. Memories came rushing back to the residents, and I heard many of their great stories. The same company has a magazine titled Looking Back which takes stories after 1960. Both magazines are filled with old fashion memories. As I read Good Old Days, I kept thinking I had tales to tell but they want pictures to enhance the story if you have them. When the idea hit me, I was upstairs in a second and tearing the closet apart to look for that box of pictures. I went through the pictures and thought with each is there a story here? When I came up with an idea, I wrote the memories. So now 9 stories later with 6 sold, I’m thankful my mom taught me to be a saver. I’d have missed out on so much in more ways than one if I had dumped that drawer full of precious treasures in the trash
If you’re interested go to the Good Old Days website. The submission information is there and address. They do like pictures but will print a story without them. Some stories are fairly short and others are a couple pages long. I suspect you get paid better for the larger stories with pictures but I can tell you this magazine company does pay good. They give two free magazines with your story in them and let you buy up to ten more. A selling point is names and location with dates so tell the story in detail. One way the company sells the magazine is people buy it because of the area stories or people they knew. Or like me the writer is a relative. The subscriptions make good gifts, too. I know because I bought several just to make sure the relatives found my story.