I had the wonderful experience of listening to an oral story from our visitors over the summer. It is amazing how many people want to tell you their stories. Although I enjoy working in the 'historic' period, I also treasure the stories I hear from those who are living now.
One of the stories was from a lady in Arizona who had been to the Pikes Peak region as a child. She went on to tell me the memories she had of her uncles and grandfather who had performed Native American dances at Seven Falls and The Manitou Cliff dwellings. She was here now to show her own grandchildren what she remembered. The one thing she would not do was drive to the top of Pikes Peak. She said as a child she was afraid, not of falling off the side, but of getting to the top and falling over onto the other side. As she told the story you could see her eyes light up as she remembered that innocent time. She wanted her grandchildren to have those same experiences to pass on to their children and grandchildren.
I will be talking more about oral stories on my website and blog. I think that sometimes we are so busy with our own lives we forget the wonderful gifts we receive when we take the time to listen to other peoples stories. Everyone has one or more to tell. As writers it is our gift to take those stories and make them accessible to the rest of the world.