As my father enters the sunset of his life here on God’s earth, he has jumped at every opportunity recently to talk to me about the history of Lititz, the history of our family, and the history of this nation. Last Saturday was one of those opportunities, which he didn’t let pass by. As we drove up 322 West on that fall afternoon, the history lesson surrounded the area of town that borders our beloved park. Specifically, my father talked about the Lititz Pretzel Company, whose production building was a stone’s throw away from the stream that dissects the park. This locally owned business, closed for many decades now, packed their freshly baked pretzels in colorful tins of yellow and orange. Some of those tins can be seen in several storefronts in Lititz to this day.
While I enjoyed the history lesson of this former Lititz business, I mostly hung on his every word when he recalled his story about the pretzels. His eyes lit up when he began to talk about how he and his school buddies would race after school to the bakery to eat the broken pretzels called “breakers” that were not worthy to be sold. Hot. Fresh. And “always tasty” my dad said with a smile on his face. I could smell and taste them as he recounted his story.
Mostly by osmosis, I am a history geek like my dad and his dad. I soak up any historical tidbit I hear like a sponge sitting in a kitchen sink. It is important to learn from history. To learn what works. To learn what doesn’t. And to learn why things are the way they are. Quite frankly, I love it. I readily admit that most people do not have my penchant for historical dates, people and places.
History can be boring. I get it. Nevertheless, I do hope that you would start to become a history buff. Well, not a history buff per say. Rather, I want you to become a HIS Story (HIStory) buff by listening and committing to memory stories as told by your parents, grandparents, or older friends of yours.
Dates, places, and circumstances of today’s events will be written down in some book or journal for future generations to read. However, stories of their childhoods will not make it into any historical publication. It is up to you to pass onto future generations these real, authentic historical accounts that give invaluable insight into your parents, relatives and friends.
- BELIEVE that HIS Stories (or HER Stories) must be heard and passed on because stories matter
- ACT by asking your parents to relate some of their childhood memories to you
- SERVE future generations by taking a real interest in today’s older generation
Stories like my dad’s about eating broken pretzels will never make it to a history book. However, it’s HIStory. And now, mine as well. I can’t wait to tell Andrew.