The stories were written by author Mary Cuffe Perez of Galway from interviews with 10 residents of the county run nursing home during 2012-13. The stories, two pages each, are compiled in the collection, What We Keep: Life Stories from Maplewood Manor, published by the Village Press of Galway Central School. Students from the Press were also photographers for the project and publication designers.
The stories focus on life episodes inspired by keepsakes—whether object, photo, song or just a vivid memory. Storytellers range in age from 76 to 98 and their stories offer a one of a kind point of view on life during the last century.
Many of the people interviewed had never told their stories to anyone, not even family members.
"People don’t ask us about our lives," says Lillian Bills, a resident of Maplewood who formerly lived in Galway. "They tell us about their lives, but they don’t ask us about ours."
Many of the people whose stories are in the booklet will be in the audience for the reading, along with family members, some of whom will read their relative’s story. A PowerPoint with photos of each storyteller will be shown along with a brief talk about the project.
The Saratoga County Historical Society at Brookside is a non-profit organization located at 6 Charlton Street in Ballston Spa that inspires community memory by telling the story of Saratoga County through engaging exhibits and interactive programs. Brookside’s programs and services are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For more information, please visit brooksidemuseum.org or call (518) 885-4000.