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Writing Family Memories: Three Generations in One Home

Written by Patricia Enciso
October 18, 2015

  Following our work on images of the Steward Family, Pat asked everyone to write a favorite memory from the viewpoint of a family member, young or old.  Pat narrated a history of the family, describing four generations who had built a life together in this home in the Ninth Ward.  Directing their writing, Pat said:  “Decide who you are and what you want to always remember about a time you shared in this house with your family.”

Students wrote for fifteen minutes, composing the images and details of their experiences as members of the Steward family. Pat worked with each student to select a line or phrase from their writing that would contribute to a group poem, representing the Stewards’ shared lives in their family home.  Everyone described their memory in first person and named themselves as a family member.   As Pat read from their writing, creating a group poem, she translated the first person writing into a unified voice:

Our Good Times

This house is old, old, old.

It was my grandma’s.

She grew up in it

And so did my parents.

They gave it to my mom and dad to start their family.

All of my aunts and uncles have had to sign the papers.

When I get older, maybe I could get the house.

It’s been in my family for years and years.


The day when Josie turned one

Our friends came to help.

Some work needed done on the house.

I worked on the roof.

Our friends worked on painting the door.

Then we had some quiet time so we could get ready, sleep,

And watch Sponge Bob.

Then we partied for hours.

Singing Taylor Swift and dancing with my friends.

Dancing and singing.


Josie took her first steps.

We were so proud of her.

And remember? …

When I went on the Banshee. It was fast.

I was five. I ate pepperoni and pineapple pizza

With my older brother.


We was all in the kitchen at 2AM

And grandpa was drinking his coffee.


On my grandma’s 75th birthday

everyone threw her a surprise birthday party

With TWO cakes.

We actually put 75 candles on the cake.

“We are going to need a fire extinguisher!” 


This house is old, old, old.

It’s been in my family for years and years…