Use this pandemic as a time of retrospection. What projects do you want to work on or finish? Have you thought about recording the story of your life?

Museums and historical societies often have programs to help people record their stories. An example is the Barry County Museum at Cassville, where volunteers interview residents and record their life stories. After several life stories are finished, they are compiled in books called “Lifetime of Memories—Voices of Barry County.”

The museum has published twenty-five volumes, each containing about six life stories. For more details, call the museum at 417-847-1640.

Instead of writing a book, consider making a series of videos in which you talk about your life. Divide your story into topics and arrange the topics in the order in which you want to discuss them. Also compile a list of subtopics for each video. Use your lists of topics and subtopics as guides in filming your story.

If your phone doesn’t have the ability to make videos, check with family members or ask your local library or museum if you could check out a video camera.

You might decide to do numerous short videos rather than long ones. Perhaps your life story could be divided into birth, childhood, young adulthood, middle age and older years. Other videos could be about parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, brothers and sisters, and uncles and aunts and cousins.

Another video could be about your collection of photographs. Show each photograph and tell about it. Who is in each picture, was it a special occasion, where was it taken and approximately what year was it taken?

Another video could be a discussion of records in your Bible, heirlooms you have, and old letters, documents and postcards. Each item could be shown as you discuss it.

Start each video in the same manner. State your name, the date, your address, the area where you were born, name of your spouse, names of your children and parents. Next state the number of the video and title of the video.

Don’t fret about the topics and subtopics of your videos. Two authors have written a 50-page book that is chockfull of good suggestions. Stephen and Julia Arthur put their ideas in “Your Life and Times, How To Put a Life Story on Tape — An Oral History Handbook.”

Their book was first published in 1987 by Genealogical Publishing Co. of Baltimore.

It can be purchased online. Your local library might have it. If your library doesn’t have it, request an interlibrary loan.

Using suggestions from the book, the filming of your life history will be a stress-free, fun adventure that will be appreciated by future generations.

Comments or Suggestions? Contact Frankie Meyer: frankiemeyer@yahoo.com.

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