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  Monday, August 7, 2006
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A Memoir Project Update
By Rick Winterson

     Twenty lifelong residents of South Boston gathered together on Tuesday, July 25, for the first class in South Boston’s part of the “Memoir Project”.  The venue was the Officers’ Room at Fort Independence.  Its gray, granite block arches and faint, musty smell make the room a wonderful place to stimulate memories.  Coffee and doughnuts were provided by Bill Spain and the Castle Island Association.

     In a previous article (July 13, page one), South Boston Online described the Memoir Project.  It is sponsored by the Mayor’s Office and coordinated by Kaysea Cole.  The Project teams up members of the Grub Street Writers Group, one of Boston’s most venerable literary institutions, with residents of Boston’s major neighborhoods, so that a memoir can be written.  The idea is to capture the stories of Boston on three levels – neighborhood, family, and individual. 

     The result will be a set of bound volumes that records the wit, wisdom, and insight of Boston’s residents.  The classroom phase of the North End memoir is complete; South Boston’s began on Tuesday.  The first set of completed memoirs will become available late in the fall.

     Marc Foster, who is a board member of the Grub Street Group, coordinated the first class.  He is the President of his own technology startup firm, but spends his spare time writing.  Irene O’Connor from the Mayor’s office handled details and took pictures. 

     Michelle Seaton, also a member of the Grub Street Group, ran the class.  She is an experienced writing instructor with special expertise in developing memoirs. 

     Tuesday’s session went very well.  Much of it involved speaking and tape recording memories, but these will be distilled into a coherent, written narrative of South Boston’s best stories during the next classes.

     There are two more classes to complete.  Stay tuned.

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