A Grandfather’s Memory Book

What should we old guys leave of ourselves to our children and grandchildren so they might know who we once were? Does it matter?

I have a wide bookshelf filled with my journals of thirty years or so. They contain story ideas by the score, and my very personal responses to events and people in my life at the time. Do I share these? Throw them out before I die? Just leave them to be discovered? I wish I had a better sense of what was going through my father’s mind in his 50s and 60s. But that’s me; maybe not my kids’ idea of great discovery.

What to do with your own stuff? Do let us know, will you?


Colin Levy’s illustrated video remembrance called ‘My Grandfather’s Memory Book’ (The New York Times‘ Op-Docs video series) is full of the young man’s gratitude that his grandpa left so many notebooks filled with drawings and person reflections. 

Just recently the Five Wise Guys (Episode 1: Season 2) discussed the notion of getting one’s papers in order, and we weren’t talking about wills and insurance and stuff like that. Should we leave something of ourselves to our children and grandchildren, a way of letting them knew who we were?

An answer floats around in this moving video from The New York Times‘ Op-Docs video series, Colin Levy’s charming, illustrated remembrance, ‘My Grandfather’s Memory Book’.

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