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I enjoyed The Songcatcher by Sharyn McCrumb.

In the epilogue, she explains how she came home from college with a guitar, to sing a song learned from a Joan Baez record she'd bought for $6.98. Her Dad sang along and she was amazed (even dismayed ),and he told her his grandmother and her grandmother before her had "had that song". When she went back to college, she saw in the liner notes that she had learned "John Riley", one of the old English ballads.

Ms McCrumb makes a plea to preserve family traditions, because not every college kid will have the luck to stumble onto a tradition to buy for $6.98.

I'd suggest that everyone make some notes about this time of year in your childhood: your neighbors, foods, visits, religious events. Right now, you are the keeper of some memories and facts that others after you will want to know.

and you don't have to have kids of your own, one of the people who encouraged me to feel connected to generation after generation was my maiden aunt.

who remembers a brown paper fireplace from the year I was 5 and worried that Santa couldn't come to my house
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