Through the years, I’ve encouraged boomers to learn the stories of their parents or grandparents. I have also mentioned that it is our turn to tell our tales of growing up.

My wife and I have assembled information about our family, our ancestors, and our lives in the 1950s and '60s.

The weight of this subject hit me hard this past week when my mom’s younger sister, who was 89, passed. My wife and I have both lost the entire generation of our grandparents, parents, and our parent’s siblings.

Whatever stories were not gleaned are gone. How does each generation slip away? What remains of their walk on earth?

In our families, gone are the farmer, the watchmaker, the farm wife, the nurse, the sportsman, the truck driver, and the school bus chauffeur. Gone are the veterans who fought for freedom.

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As long as I had someone living from my family’s previous generations, I felt connected to their past and to all those who watched over me as I grew up.

The people from these generations grew up during a depression, fought a world war, and attended one-room country schoolhouses. They got an orange and nuts in their Christmas stocking and lived through changes in the world that were beyond their imagination. That life is beyond the understanding of my grandchildren and even my children.

Life never got too comfortable for the Greatest Generation or the Silent Generation and boomers are witnessing the tail end of those two generations. Each group has stories of poverty, loss, success and notable accomplishments.

Those of us who were lucky enough to hear and listen to their stories found them remarkable. My opinion is that about 75 to 100 years ago, our country's difficulties, in particular, World War II, brought that generation closer together. That alliance, that patriotic belief in our country, was never lost.

I think Baby Boomers don’t have that same deep-rooted connection with each other. As I talked to my cousin after the loss of her mom, the realization is that we, and pardon my baseball analogy, are no longer on deck. We are in the batter’s box, and our generation is now the overseers of our family.

Quite possibly we may never forget the advice given to us by our grandparents or parents. I’m guessing most of us wish we had sat down and listened more often to the oral history of the generation before us.

I am fortunate. I am the keeper of the photos on my side of the family, and some are extraordinary. Here are some exceptional snapshots I have:

1914 – My grandfather and his high school basketball team, Ionia, Kansas.

1915 – My grandmother as a school teacher, Neville, Saskatchewan.

1919 – My grandpa and his brother in town team baseball uniforms – Truax, Saskatchewan.

1922 – My mom as a baby in Truax.

1930 – Grandfather with a watch fob hanging out of his pocket (I now have that watch fob) – Delta, Iowa.

1937 – My mom, a teenager, hiding behind a tree in Yellowstone National Park.

1945 – My dad, in uniform, in the Philippines.

1947 – Great-grandparents in Summerland, British Columbia.

1966 – Fishing with my grandpa in rural eastern Kansas.

1972 – My grandparent's 50th anniversary with my mom, aunt and uncle.

Tell your stories at the dinner table, label your photos, and write down your yarns (in particular those funny tales). Fill up a scrapbook of pictures of those who came before you.

Leave a legacy of kindness, love, and of course, a marvelous legend or two. There will come a day when our children and grandchildren will cherish that information.

How will you be remembered?

Loren Else lives in Rochester and also writes the Post Bulletin’s “Day in History” column. Send comments and column ideas to Loren at