How many family stories do you have? I don\u2019t necessarily mean epic tales of crossing the Atlantic on the Mayflower, though those are undoubtedly awesome, if you have them. What I mean are the memories your family shares, of good times or bad. The stories that tend to come out during family reunions, wedding receptions and funeral luncheons, when the extended family gets together. We take our kids camping during the summers, because it\u2019s one of the cheapest ways we can get away. Around the campfire at night, they request stories. \u201cTell the one about grandpa and the bear!\u201d \u201cNo, tell the one about the horse in the house!\u201d I grew up listening to similar types of stories \u2014 how my grandmother learned to iron men\u2019s dress shirts when she was working her way through high school as a housekeeper for a salesman and his family. How my grandfather took my father and all his brothers and sisters on a trek through the woods near Hartwick Pines to see the remnants of the lumber camp where my grandfather worked as a young teen. These are the kinds of stories that make a family. When I was in upper elementary or junior high, we had a class assignment to interview an older member of our family and write a paper. I talked to my grandmother, who was far more excited about the assignment than I was. For weeks afterward, she would stop by the house with a piece of notebook paper or two on which she\u2019d written down another memory for my paper \u2014 her first ride in a car, or what it was like to grow up during World War I. I never had the heart to tell her I\u2019d written the paper the day I talked to her and the assignment was over. I simply took the pages, thanked her for them and read them so I could talk to her about the stories later. Carelessly, I didn\u2019t keep track of them and they\u2019ve since been lost or destroyed. I can\u2019t tell you how many times I\u2019ve wished I had those pages now. Many people I\u2019ve talked to wish they\u2019d bothered to stop and remember their family\u2019s stories, but now it\u2019s too late because Aunt Mildred is gone, or Great-Grandfather Joe has succumbed to Alzheimer\u2019s and can\u2019t tell them anymore. Please, for your children, for your grandchildren \u2014 write down your memories before they\u2019re gone. There\u2019s always a feeling of \u201cOh, I\u2019ll get to that sometime.\u201d Too often, \u201csometime\u201d doesn\u2019t arrive. It doesn\u2019t have to be an epic novel \u2026 it could just be a few loose-leaf sheets of paper in a binder. It doesn\u2019t have to be incredibly organized; just jot things down as you think of them, with a quick note about the time and place this memory involves. You don\u2019t have to be a polished author and live up to the tales of Melville or Hemingway. Your family won\u2019t care about grammar and spelling \u2014 they\u2019ll care about the story. Now, you might think I\u2019ve got a handle on this writing-stuff-down business because it\u2019s what I do, but you\u2019d be wrong. None of my family\u2019s stories are in writing, either. I\u2019ll mend my ways if you will. Whaddaya say? Respond to my column by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you might see your thoughts in print in an upcoming issue of the Herald Review.