My Story

Diane Littlefield 1970

Me in 1970

As a teenager, I loved recording my parents, friends and eventually my children’s voices.  It’s part of my history and now theirs. These tapes are priceless memories of friends and family now gone, their voices now stilled, yet preserved for the future.

In 1981 I presented my parents with a “Grandparent’s Book”, a question and answer workbook.  I thought it was a wonderful idea and looked forward to their finishing it.  In 1982 we moved back to NY for a year. I asked them how they were doing with the book.  Nothing had been done.  It’s not easy to make yourself time to sit, think, and write about memories.  I asked them if they would be willing to have me interview and record their memories a few hours a week.

My mom was quite agreeable to this idea.  My dad’s response was, “I will sit and listen, but I doubt I will have anything to add.” My dad turned out to be a great contributor.  By the time we moved back to Colorado, I had amassed nine hours of recorded conversations with them.  I also began recording my in-laws about their life. Sadly my dad died suddenly in 1989 so we were never able to finish his life.  I am so grateful for what I was able to tape.

Diane in Hawaii

1964 in Hawaii with my Grandfather

In 1984 I asked my brothers if they would like copies of the tapes.   Only one brother was interested. I then toyed with the idea of starting a business based around recording people’s life stories for their families.   I was also a photographer and made the choice to continue that as a career along with raising our five children.  In 2007, I closed my photography business to devote myself to photographing my grandchildren and images of my choice.  The memoir business continued to be in the recesses of my mind.

I then learned about The Association of Personal Historians and attended my first conference.  I was surprised to learn that personal histories are now a thriving business throughout the world.  I knew I wanted to be a part of it.  At the same time, one of my brothers asked me for copies of the 1982 cassettes of our parents.  The others chimed in; suddenly they all wanted copies.  My oldest brother offered to make CD’s of the aging cassettes.  He had been estranged from our dad for many years.  A week after listening to them, he called to thank me.  He said, “I had forgotten Dad’s laugh.  I had forgotten what he sounded like.  There’s healing in listening to these, thank you.”  That touched me deeply.  It launched me into the personal historian business for real this time.

I am passionate about everyone saving their memories, recording, writing, or filming their stories. Leave a legacy while there is still time.

Diane Littlefield-Diane V Littlefield, Personal Historian