Featured #TellHisStory Writer: Nancy Franson

July 23, 2013 | 19 comments


During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your story by clicking here.) And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my good friend Nancy Franson. 

Your Story Matters

My uncle sat across from me at the farmhouse kitchen table nearly every Sunday during my childhood. Not until after he died, however, did I hear some of his stories. His widow pulled out pictures of him, taken at a reunion of his World War II flight squadron. It seems my uncle, as crew chief of a C-47, had been decorated for his role in dropping paratroopers in advance of the Normandy invasion.

I wish I had known that.

Although I do a number of kinds of writing, my favorite is recording the stories of elderly friends. Author Alex Haley wrote, “The death of an old person is like the burning of a library.” After my uncle’s death, I learned the value of preserving these kinds of memories.

Opening my ears and my heart to stories of an older person not only provides great writing material, it also affirms the value of that individual’s experience. Listening in this way says, “Your life, your story matters.” Even if I have no particular market in mind for publication, the practice of listening to, honoring, and recording the story of an elderly person helps me grow as a writer. And as a person.

Nancy Franson

Nancy Franson is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and son in Mansfield, CT. She tells stories about faith and life at Out of My Alleged Mind. Connect with her on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, or subscribe to her posts via email.




by | July 23, 2013 | 19 comments


  1. Hazel Irene Moon

    Preserving those stories is so important, not just for family, but others will be inspired and encouraged by hearing or reading them.

  2. Debbie

    Yes, there is much wisdom found in the life and words of our elderly friends and family.

    • Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

      And sometimes, there are just some really great laugh-out-loud funny stories, the kind that bring joy deep down in your soul.

    • Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

      I have truly enjoyed some of the stories and photos you’ve shared about your dear mama, Diana. They are worth their weight in gold.

  3. Sandra Heska King

    The hospice home my mom was in had a legacy project to help patients record memories for their families. We didn’t need that service, though, because my mom had put together a book with photos and stories for me. I treasure that and will reproduce it for my siblings.

    • Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

      This makes me so happy, Sandra–both that the hospice home offers this service and that you have your mom’s photos and stories preserved for you.

  4. Patricia Hunter

    I LOVE your heart in this, Nancy. I’m particularly tender-hearted toward the elderly, and listening to their stories is not only great material for our writing, but a way of honoring them when many others ignore them. Before RA sent me on a detour, once a week I helped an elderly friend in her 80s with a shower and a few chores and the whole time she told me stories (sometimes they were stories she’d already told me several times before). She has a gift for writing and I’ve been telling her she needs to record them.

    • Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

      Sometimes I think it’s harder to record our own stories than to tell them to someone else. Maybe you could serve as her scribe?

  5. Nancy Franson (@nancyfranson)

    So, do you want to hear a story? Just yesterday I was at the post office and bought some Johnny Cash stamps. The woman who sold them to me said, “My aunt once went out on a date with him.” And my first thought was, somebody needs to write that story down!

    Thanks so much for hosting me here, Jennifer, and for the many great voices you’ve invited into this space. You #TellHisStory well!

  6. leslie

    You give and receive a wonderful gift when you take the time to listen to, and record, their stories.

  7. Michelle DeRusha

    I love that you do, this, Nancy – and you do it well.

  8. Simply Darlene

    Yes, indeed, miss Nancy! I’m so very much drawn to the WWII era stories and people… my grandparent’s generation.


  9. JoAnn

    I feel the same way about the olds in my family. I spent an entire day interviewing my aunt and my grandma…now I only have seven more aunts to go?



  1. » Virtual Granny Out of My Alleged Mind - [...] to be featured over at Jennifer Lee’s place today: Joining her for #TellHisStory, and emily for imperfect [...]

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