As an assignment in grad school back in 2012 I was asked to consider how history might be told creatively. Not that we, as historians, should claim fiction to be truth, but rather that we might explore the silences in what is left behind. What does the document not tell us? Can we imagine how a person might have felt as they sat down to write a letter to a loved one or crafted a public speech? After learning all we can about a person – what more can we do to tell their story in creative ways… this was our task which I took to heart and truly enjoyed as a new and interesting challenge. The result was the following piece centered on my own family history and the imagined conversations left out of the record.
I hope you enjoy the read and that it might serve as a reminder that those who we read about as part of ‘HISTORY’ were individual human beings with all the joys, flaws, creativity, emotion, and yes – even fear – that we experience in our own lives today.