What's a Raconteur?

rac·on·teur
/ˌräˌkänˈtər/

A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator

Through their eyes: memories of the past printed for the future

Through their eyes: memories of the past printed for the future

published by KATC

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Olivia Savoie and David Strother have spent the better part of the last five months seated around Strother's dining room table.

Strother would talk and Savoie would listen, interjecting every now and then with a question.

"Olivia gave me individual stairs to create the story," David said.

Telling stories has always been something Savoie enjoyed.

"I've always loved older people, history and writing," Savoie said. "I'm not surprised that I found a way to put it all together, I do feel blessed that it is my reality every day."

But she never thought it would lead to this, taking the stories of others and compiling them into a book that they could share with family members in years to come.

"Everything that I knew that was important to me became even more important as we fleshed out and went deep," Strother said.

The project started as a Father's Day gift from Strother's wife, a chance to relive his past through pictures--talking through the memories that helped shape him.

"It's easy to have a legacy and it's easy to transfer a legacy," Strother said. "That's not so relative to your why. The assets and money are poor translators to for why a purpose....in this book I'll always be honoring Olivia because she helped to make that purpose and why come alive."

That purpose, that why, a small home with no running water and a family of sharecroppers in Texas.

"Yet, my brother and mine most joyous place on earth, even now when things are much nicer was our most favorite place on earth," Strother said. "When before you know how to read, and someone is telling you that 'you are going to be something special' it's much easier to then be someone special. It isn't I was special, in reality, it was my grandparents were special."

The boy who was always told, "You're going to be somebody special" realized they were all somebody special.

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My grandpa drove a fuel truck. His job was to top off the gas tanks at farms in the area. Sometimes I went along for the ride (which would never happen in today's world). I got to climb the tanks and put the dipstick in the tank to measure how much gas was in there. After, he'd fill it, and write the invoice, he'd send me running to the door to deliver. Worked in his favor, especially in the winter where he got to stay in the warm truck. I didn't know the difference. I was a little boy riding in a big truck. All was right with the world.

My grandparents were and are a big part of my life. One of the many memories I have with them is having a picnic under the big pine trees (that are no longer there). One time, it was raining and because they had promised a picnic, Maw put a blanket on the floor in the living room (you were NEVER allowed to eat in there) and we had a picnic...complete with her glass jar of animal crackers. 

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