Hi, my name is Cherie,

   ...sometimes lovingly called “Clyde Jr” by my sweet mother.

I LOVE a good conversation with people of any age – conversations that have content and soul. I love listening to other people’s stories about their lives, journeys, and inspirations. Some say I have a “gift to gab”, a gift not always appreciated by my family as we try to make our way through Walmart or Menards!

I once attended a conference hosted by Indigenous People, and the host was introducing a speaker, and told us this man was “RICH.” Wait, what? That was interesting. Who says that?

He then continued…  “This man is RICH in History. Rich in Heritage. Rich in Culture.” Ahhh…. I get it. This statement really made me stop and think about my own heritage, my history, my culture. How well did I know the stories of my past relatives? Would I consider myself RICH in this knowledge and would I place high value on this?

When I was a kid, well before cell phones, iPads and smart tv’s, my dad was a Pioneer of sorts - he loved innovation and technology. We were one of the first families in our neighborhood to own a camcorder, a VHS player and a “Zenith Space Phone” that allowed you to make phone calls using your remote through the TV speaker. He was definitely ahead of his time…

Unfortunately, my dad passed away about this time, at the age of 56, and ironically, with all this technology in our home, we got ZERO recordings of his voice – his laughter, wit, stories and his words of wisdom were certainly a part of all our lives, but never recorded for anybody to enjoy once he passed.

I started doing these personal video histories a couple years later in 1989. The first was a required college assignment, and the interview was with my grandparents - what a gift that interview has been for all the generations of grand kids and great grand kids who never got to meet this special couple. What a joy to see the two of them interacting with each other, laughing, and telling stories about their lives and sharing their wise words of wisdom for future generations.

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Since then, there have been countless others – an elderly gentleman with rich stories of being on secret bombing missions in WWII and having to get back to America on his own; a set of siblings who sat and laughed about “the good ol’ days” and the shenanigans they played on each other; husband and wife interviews, telling stories of how they first started dating and the wonderful family adventures to follow; a family of aunts and nieces and the wonderful family traditions they shared and laughed about; a gentleman who travelled the world and had life adventures which are hard to even imagine; and a beautiful woman who wanted to leave a forever gift for her grandchildren.

So many stories, each one incredibly special with a purpose and importance to be heard and recorded forever. Stories not retold and adapted by others, but by the person who lived it. While many of these people have passed, the recording of their special memories and stories will live on forever…

My dad made it a point to meet with his “coffee buddies” every afternoon – his friends would tell their business partners and spouses they were going to go have “coffee with Clyde.” My dad understood the importance of listening to their stories and seeing the importance of being heard and listening to others. I want to continue this tradition, hence the name “Coffee with Clyde.”

I’m honored to sit down and record these legacies and make sure each Voice, Story and Message is preserved for eternity….

Don’t underestimate the power of your story…You could be changing someone’s whole world just by being you.
@ckelso