Interview: DEAN RENFRO Publishes The Official Nana and PawPaw Making Memories Starter Guide

    That’s the idea, the gist of the book of how it helps people get started telling the story kind of a thing.

Tami Patzer: While I’m listening to you I’m thinking about my children and how each one of them has a story. My youngest son, I swear the kid has had a smile on his face since the day he was born. He’s just a happy person. I can really relate to that. Then as I listen I’m listening to you and your accent and how cool it would be a hundred years from now if your ancestors could hear you telling a story in your own voice and how they could hear the nuances, and the voice inflections, and the accent. I really like this concept of giving people a guide and the story prompts to get started so that you can leave this legacy to your, like you said, your children, grandchildren, and all those future generations. I really like that show on TV “Who Do You Think You Are?” All they have are … Every now and then it might be a diary, or a signature, or legal records and that’s all they have to try to piece together their ancestors.

    Just think of the power of this when you actually have real documentation in all of the media that we have available today. That’s really cool. Who do you think would really, really appreciate your books?

Dean Renfro: Given the environment in which we live, nothing’s private anymore. Yet there’s things I want to say to each one of my kids and at least to the grandkids that I have now, there’s special messages that I want to leave behind just for them. Things that I want to say to them, and I don’t want to put that out there in the world for everybody to make something out of, or read something into, or turn it into something else. We see that happen everyday on Facebook, social media, things get totally blown out of proportion. Part of this is a way for parents, grandparents to really be able to speak to the generations to come. Pretty much anybody that’s looking to leave behind their story in a particular way, I think it fits that audience. There’s some special people that I think this means a lot to.

     People who discover, like in my case, their parents have Alzheimer’s. As a   matter of fact I’ve learned just the other day of a friend who they found out their mom has symptoms of Alzheimer’s. I boxed up one of the books I just got, I packaged it up and sent it to him. Said “Let me tell you from experience, you need to get started.” People who have people who have diseases like that. Of course I’m all for them finding a cure, and maybe they will and they won’t need my book for that anymore. People who have a good friend whose sister died from cancer. People who have cancer victims, and especially when they find out it’s something incurable and their days are numbered and limited. This is an opportunity for them to sit down in a creative way and start saying “Let’s tell your story because we don’t want your story to get away.”

     People who have kids, and I would encourage anybody that’s got younger kids … Have a friend that she lost two of her three kids to automobile accidents in their teenage years. The one sibling that’s left, there’s some story that he doesn’t know because he was younger. If they adopt kids, “Who are these people that we keep hearing about?” Parents, you never know when something like that’s going to happen. Even people … I have some really good friends that we talked a little bit about in the book, the mom was killed because in the middle of the night a tornado hit their home and scattered their belongings over I don’t know how many acres. The boys that are left and the husband that are left, there’s not much story, there’s not much past. Like what you were saying a minute ago, all they have is we have bits and pieces of paper. Having a system where you’ve put this stuff down and got it together in a place. We don’t have our wedding pictures because we had all our wedding pictures in a box and we moved and when we moved one time we put them on the floor next to the wall to keep them safe. Little did we know the pipe int he wall would leak and leaked into the box and destroyed all the pictures. We got a few proofs of that. Those things happen. It’s a matter of saying “I want to preserve stuff.” I think everybody has an opportunity to do that. Cancer victims, cancer victims to tell their story, people with diseases, especially mental diseases or memory diseases are good candidates. Parents, grandparents are getting up in years. They all are candidates I think for the book.

     The biggest thing I think for it Tami, is it’s a way to get started. I found that most people if they ever get started, they’re on their way. It’s kind of like “I don’t know how to get started.”

Tami Patzer: I think you’re absolutely right because like you said you give fifty questions, you give them idea starters. You give them an idea of where to start so they’re not sitting there looking at a blank page. I understand not only is this a book, but you give people access to some software that can help them really create a legacy with this so that they don’t have the box of photo situation where everything gets wrecked if the computer blows up or crashes. Or it’s on paper and something happens and there’s a hurricane. I live in Florida, there’s always that risk that some natural disaster can happen and your books, or papers, or whatever, or computer … Believe me I don’t even know what I have on a hard drive that I can’t anymore.

Tamara "Tami" Patzer

Tamara "Tami" Patzer is a publisher at Women Innovators Publishing and is a popular host at Business Innovators Radio. She has surpassed 500 interviews. She is the creator of Daily Success and award-winning Women Innovators. She works with authors, influencers, innovators, and trendsetters who offer professionals services. Tami teaches Social Media and Marketing courses at Florida Gulf Coast University.