Tuesday, June 19, 2012

60 Years of Memories Book

Last week was my dad’s 60th birthday. A few months ago, I saw an idea online of collecting “60 Years of Memories” from friends and family. The blog I read it on collected the stories and photos and put them in 60 envelopes. I decided I wanted to make a book – something that could be displayed and shared a little more easily than envelopes.
In February, I sent out emails, Facebook messages, and snail mail to every family member and friend I could think of. Over the last four months, stories and photos have trickled in and I was able to make a really great gift for a man who has everything.
These pictures are actually of the “first draft” of the book. The printer made a mistake and I won’t have the hardbound, leather copy for a few more days. Luckily I was able to get a temporary copy so as to not miss his birthday milestone.

 I didn’t ever count the number of responses I got, but the book ended up being about 75 pages long.
 I started with a photo of him and I and explained that this started out as a gift for him but I have quickly decided it was a gift for me, too. What an amazing way for me to learn so much about my dad!
 Somehow, in the midst of moving, I was able to dig out a bunch of old photos. Here’s my dad in elementary school, and a handwritten note from one of his brothers.

And more photos of him as a pre-teen.
 One of my dad’s sisters also sent a bunch of photos along with some fun stories about him and all of his 5 surviving siblings and many siblings-in-law all sent great memories from his childhood and early adulthood. 
One of the things I LOVE about this project is that the book is a mix of so many different elements – some photos, some typed stories, some newspaper clippings, some handwritten notes, and some artwork. Since my youngest is too young to express his memories about Grampa, we had him make a painting instead.

 One of the greatest letters in the book is from my dad’s friend Dave. They were in the military together and he has known my dad for a very long time. Great stories! And when I searched for the old family and school photos, I also came across this great 40-year-old newspaper clipping announcing my dad’s Air Force basic training. How cool is that?

But I think my favorite part of the book is from my daughter. When I asked her what she thinks about when she thinks about her Grampa, she remembered this picture and here’s what she had to say.

Happy birthday, dad! I hope you love your book as much as I do! Can’t wait to give you the hardbound version very soon. XOXO.


ColleenaMareena said...

Wow, this is really just so incredible! What an amazing present!

Maria said...

May I ask how you had it leather-bound? What company did you end up using?


Unknown said...

How did you have it leather bound or made into a "real" book?

Unknown said...

Can you give the company you used to print it? I am actually looking for someone to print one for my boss' 80th birthday! :)

Thoughts on the Journey said...

Love it. What company did you end up using? Any others hints to help with formatting? Please and thank you. Making one for my husbands 60th birthday in November.


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