__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 20

The Story Spinners Ellen Sherling

These alchemists turn life into gold

E

rlene Lingle vividly recalls making teacakes with her grandmother. She can almost smell the nutmeg, and remembers how her grandmother would roll out the dough for each cake. “Her name was Isabelle Walters Moore,” Lingle says. “We used to pick huckleberries every summer together.” The Writing Our Lives class turns such moments into stories, memories that can soothe, bring riotous laughter, or unsettle both the memory holder and her audience. The members of the Writing Our Lives class, part of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University, can vouch for that. This unique group of habitual, and sometimes not-so-habitual, journal and diary keepers meets in a small conference room at the Lexington Hotel on College Street each Tuesday morning to uncover memories like buried treasure. Then one by one, they share the wealth by reading aloud to the class, like a support group for the memoir addict. Class members would be the first to say their gathering does function as a type of support group, as storytellers travel time together through moments joyous, momentous or difficult that may have happened yesterday or 50 years ago. “Nothing is more interesting than a person’s biography,” said Helene Burkhart, a fourth-year veteran of the class. “No two are the same.”

Story by Lindsay Wood Photos by Beth Snipes 20 LEE MAGAZINE

Profile for Lee Magazine

Lee Magazine Dec 2009 - Jan 2010  

Writing our lives. THEY TELL ALL - OK, MAYBE NOT ALL, BUT TELLING STORIES WAS NEVER SO SATISFYING HEIDA OLIN'S FAVORITE PARTY FOOD THE EV...

Lee Magazine Dec 2009 - Jan 2010  

Writing our lives. THEY TELL ALL - OK, MAYBE NOT ALL, BUT TELLING STORIES WAS NEVER SO SATISFYING HEIDA OLIN'S FAVORITE PARTY FOOD THE EV...

Advertisement