A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator
How commissioning Raconteur to write your parents’ life story in a book will teach you things you didn’t know about them.
Many times, successful men and women’s professional endeavors are well known by their families, but their most personal, meaningful memories—those that explore what made them who they are—are not. Our life story writers pen biographies that endeavor to change that.
We have encountered a prosperous real estate investor whose children knew all about their dad’s real estate deals, but nothing about his very first deal—the sale of the produce he grew himself as a child in his dad’s backyard garden. Our books have informed the grandchildren of one doctor about where their grandmother’s passion to become a surgeon came from—helping the local veterinarian on her grandfather’s ranch as a teenager. Another life story book has investigated one teacher’s lifelong love of reading, tracing it all the way back to her being awarded a copy of All the Mowgli Stories after winning a daffodil-picking contest.
One particular storyteller we have written a memoir on behalf of, M.P. Dumesnil, was born with an innate work ethic and drive to be successful. To this day, at age 92, he still lives his passion and runs his contracting business. The excerpt from his life story below is one of the many inspiring, telling back stories we are fortunate to unearth and share with families in our life story books. This story shares how his business got started.
From an early age, I enjoyed working. My school allowed me to depart at noon each day in order to work. I gave all of my earnings to my stepmother, who stacked up my coins in a jar. I started a small nursery and farm. I would feed the hogs, milk the cows, and deliver milk. Within the nursery, I raised flowers alongside my dad. We would clip, plant in the hot house, and eventually sell our plants to the public. I also earned money doing other jobs, such as mowing neighbors’ lawns or having a paper route. In addition, starting in fifth grade, the headmaster of the cafeteria at my elementary school hired me to work in the kitchen. My job included washing and drying dishes. Another job I had involved carpentry. My grandfather worked out of a small building in his yard. I enjoyed learning from him and always wanted to be a builder when I grew older. We would produce an array of woodwork including trim, cabinets, and windows. One afternoon when I was 18, I heard about a warehouse coming up for sale. I sat down with my stepmother to discuss the idea of buying it, tearing it down, and building houses with the lumber. My business-minded stepmother thought the $500 price tag was costly, but worth it and brought me the jar in which she had saved my earnings for all those years. To our astonishment, we counted $527—just enough to buy the warehouse.