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Josh and Laurie and Cedar

Posted by admin on September, 5, 2023

These songs are excerpted from a Loving Legacy Video interview about Laurie’s pregnancy as they transition into parenthood.

Duet Together

‘Beautiful Boy’

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Engelstein Funeral

Posted by admin on December, 9, 2020

Jacob Engelstein Funeral

Bikur Cholim Cemetery in Seattle

December 8, 2020

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Unity Seattle Videos

Posted by admin on May, 27, 2019

On May 25th, 2019, Unity Church of Seattle celebrated the end of an era as the building will soon be torn down and rebuilt. Members of the congregation from over the years gathered to celebrate, connect, and share.

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When Have You Felt Most Alive?

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on February, 6, 2019

One Of The Best Questions I Ask

This is often among the questions I ask that solicits the deepest, most authentic and engaging answers from many of the interviews I do. I usually save it for the end. It’s a good one. After going through the ancestry and relatives, talking about early life, young adulthood, marriage, career and so much more, I start with the introspective questions about how people think and feel. This is also often when I hear in follow up that family and friends learned the most new information about their loved ones.

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If It Is Up To Me, My Funeral Would Be More Music Than Talking…

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on January, 15, 2019

In this clip, legendary minister Michael Haynes talks about the music he’d like to have at his own funeral, and his thoughts overall about the role of gospel music in the church. He lead Twelfth Baptist Church in Boston for over 40 years. His interview covered his relationship with Martin Luther King, working with Ted Kennedy, Billy Graham, and other World Leaders, being a state legislator and parole board member, his connection to Barbados, decades of work in Roxbury and among many other topics. Great interview all around.

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Coming To America – An Irish American Story

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on December, 1, 2018

Coming to America and arriving to Chicago from Ireland in the 70’s, life was very hard. Her husband had a great job opportunity that brought them, but raising kids in a new city with no social connections, getting robbed in the first week, facing a colleague who’s husband had run away with an Irish girl, and so much more. “In America, nobody cared if we were Catholic or Protestant, it was really lovely…” “The pain in my past has definitely made me a more empathetic person.”

I love this story, so full of details about the challenges of relocating to a new city, a new country, learning a whole new culture, feeling alone, and yet making new friendships and learning her way, overcoming adversity and eventually thriving.

This work is so powerful.

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How I Tawk – Identity in Accent

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on December, 1, 2018

This bite was excerpted from a quite lovely full interview. I especially like the section about her father’s expressions. Ever considered your own accent or way of speaking? Have a peak at this insightful video and consider how you talk and the words you use inform who you are.

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Understanding Legacy & The Tools Available To Us

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on September, 22, 2018

The idea of legacy can manifest in so many ways, and the tools available to us are unique and powerful.

“I don’t want to wait until somebody dies to tell them what I value or what I remember. I want to do it now!”

“I can decide how much of this I want to share with my children and who gets to see this, which I love.”

“And as I sat here speaking, it occurred to me that parts of this video could play at my memorial ceremony, as if I were addressing my community directly.”

These were some of the sentiments shared by Rebecca Crichton, the Executive Director of the NW Center for Creative Aging during her Loving Legacy Video interview. I loved how she wove together her own life story, her culture and family traditions, together with the work she does with elders, talking frequently about death and dying, memory, family, and so much more. A great testament to the power of this work.

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Mark Day Night Live Auction

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on September, 21, 2018

Welcome to friends and family of Mark Day School

Thank you for your interest in the work of Loving Legacy Video, where we facilitate and film autobiographical interviews with elders and new parents. It’s powerful work. It makes an amazing gift, and our clients frequently share the impact our videos have had on their families. Our videos help people in connecting generations, learning in profound ways about themselves and their parents.

Our elder interviews are roughly 2/3 chronological questions beginning with ancestry and early life, and follow a natural progression through life and life cycle events. But perhaps the greatest reflections we hear from our clients come from the roughly 1/3 introspective questions we ask about when you felt most alive, choices you wish you’d made differently in life, recurring dreams you’ve had, themes you see playing out in your life, your approach to parenting or grandparenting, and many more.

Once a session has been booked, we share with you a welcome kit to prepare for the interview (if you like) with lists of questions as food for thought, articles, animations and videos from a variety of sources.

With our birth videos, we recognize that the process of growing a child, giving birth and the very early days of parenthood can fly by without having the chance to really share what you’re going through, how your body, relationship, and life are changing.

The auction item for Mark Day Night Live is 1 Loving Legacy Video ‘Signature Service’ Interview.

Have a look around the site to better understand our work and feel free to reach out directly by phone or email if you have any questions.

Thank you.

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A Love Letter From A Mother To Her Daughter

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on September, 11, 2018

One opportunity we often give in the interviews we do is to ask if the person would like to deliver a sort of love letter to their children or other family members. In this beautiful piece, a mother speaks of her deep connection with her daughter, the things she’s most proud of, the adult she sees her child as in the world, and so much more. It’s a touching example of how this is done well. This is the power in the work we do, connecting and sharing love, values, and stories between generations.

A Love Letter To My Daughter from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

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Sponsoring The Senior Matters 2018 Conference – ‘Reinventing Retirement Planning’

Posted by admin on September, 10, 2018

Loving Legacy Video was proud to be an official sponsor of the Senior Matters 2018 organized by Aging Options. The annual conference brings together a host of organizations and businesses supporting seniors, and welcomed keynote speakers Mike Holmgren, the former Superbowl champion coach of the Greenbay Packers, and then Seattle Seahawks on Friday, and then on Saturday multimedia personality Kerri Kasem. The conference was a great opportunity to network with a host of others serving Puget Sound area seniors in all areas of life. Here’s a short video of Keith of Loving Legacy Video addressing the lunchtime audience to share the power in the work we do.

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5 Generations Together In One Cemetery, A Legacy Video

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on July, 31, 2018

This video is from when I recently had the beautiful opportunity and experience of going with my father and son to visit the cemetery where my grandparents and great grandparents are buried. (His short story about the trip is below) The last time I had been there was in 1999 after my grandfather’s death which was long before I had a child of my own. We were in Boston visiting my father, and made the long drive to New Jersey, specifically to visit the cemetery as my dad is approaching 80 and his mobility is becoming far more limited. It was clear that if this was ever going to happen, it needed to be now when it was still possible. I made this short video to celebrate the trip. It’s amazing to me to know my son will be able to relive this moment decades from now. And as my father plans to be cremated when he dies, we know there will not be such a specific place to visit him.

5 Generations Together At The Cemetery – Loving Legacy Video from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

Cemetery By Stan Davis (my dad)

Five generations,
those living and those not,
together in the cemetery.

The call came from my younger son, Len, in Seattle. “When I come to visit you next month in late June, lets go down to the New Jersey cemetery and visit grandma’s and grandpa’s graves; and also your grandparents’. I know it’s almost five hours each way but I’ll drive the whole trip. Maybe we’ll overnight down there.”

“Wow! Sounds like a great idea, I’ll get back to you.” My wife, Bobbi, agreed.

“We’ll take Zuli with us,” Len’s seven years old son. “That will make five generations in our family line. I want him to understand about that.”

Still, I felt the need to think of the trip somewhat differently. My parents died in 1999 and 2004, and I hadn’t visited their gravesites since their funerals. It’s an even longer time regarding my own Bubba and Zaydeh. My mother’s parents died in 1952 and 1956 and are buried in the same cemetery.

I hadn’t visited there because of the distance. I loved them all very much and we had very good relationships. If they were interred near where I live, I would probably visit them quarterly. But 15 and 19 years was too long a time, any way you cut it. Also, I’m going on 79 and each year, because of my health, I’m even less likely to make the trip. “Now is the time and this is the perfect opportunity,” I thought.

So, a few days after Len and Zuli arrived in Boston, we drove down to the cemetery in Paramus, NJ, talking the entire way. The place advertised itself, according to its entry sign, as “Paramus, Only 10 minutes from Manhattan” off the George Washington Bridge. That may have been true when my parents bought in, but it was surely no longer the case. I always thought of Paramus in negative terms, industrialized and run down. It turned out to be a bedroom community with strip malls and plenty of traffic.

Our iPhone maps app got us there and fortunately I had kept the map with directions to the sites within the cemetery. The gates were opened and unattended, the sign said “closes at 5:30PM.” It was almost 4:00PM.
There were two minibuses in front of an office, all empty and locked. Once inside the grounds, the scene changed to both country quiet and cityscape packed, filled with tombstones standing tightly for as far as the eyes could see.

We headed for Block 10, Section 3, Plot 54, Graves 1 & 2. Something seemed off kilter. Because my grandparents were buried in a plot for two, future members could not be buried with them. To remedy this short sight, I guess, my father bought a plot for eight 1/10th mile away, with a simple granite tombstone that said only “Davis”. My parents occupied the first two spots, covered with foot high bush and each indicated with small flat stone markers. The other six spots remained empty, just grass:
These other six spots may never be used. This gave the site a skewed feeling that threw off my perception of a settled resting place. But I quickly pushed it out of my mind and greeted my parents.

I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I thought it a bit weird to be saying “Hi Mom, Hi Dad” to their presences. The other strange happening was that I was happy. I was so glad to be with them again, or at least with what was left of them. I didn’t cry, I smiled, sometimes inwardly, and some with an outright grin. There I was with them, body and mind, their bodies and my mind I guess. I wasn’t going to let this only opportunity pass by. I was going to go with the flow.

Len and Zuli backed off to give me some private time, and I started telling them how my life has gone since they left. How I have a good marriage and had a successful career. What a wonderful job they did as my parents. How much I loved them and how they would be proud of me. How I probably wouldn’t be coming back to see them again but they should be happy and know I carry them with me in my heart. As I spoke silently, I smiled more and more, ebullient and joyful. What an unexpected treat.

Following tradition, I placed a small stone on their granite slab, signifying that they had been visited, and Len and Zuli did the same. Zuli had three stuffed animals in his arms and he arranged them on the headstone, extending the row. He also tried to climb atop the headstone, and rather than thinking it was improper to do so, I knew my parents would have gotten a big kick out of it. I was hardly aware that Len, a professional videographer, filmed the scene.

Then we went on to my grandparents’ gravesites, Block 10, Section D, Line 4, Graves 29 & 30, in an abutting, filled-up cemetery with crowded granite slabs packed together like an army of soldiers marching as far as the eyes can see. We repeated the same things here, then Len and I started talking about them, how they came to America and what their lives had been like. There was no one in sight, everything was still, and we got lost in memories….

Until, that is, we realized it was just past 6:00PM and the cemetery was closed. We found our way to the gate we had entered by and, sure enough, the large padlock was hanging there. We were locked in!

We began laughing. “I don’t think we want to spend the night here,” “No, certainly not.” “This must happen all the time, let’s call the local police and ask them what to do.” They knew how to contact the groundskeeper who came within a few minutes and let us out. As we thanked him he said, “Sure,” and with a knowing smile, “Drive safely.” We went to the hotel a few miles away and planned the rest of our trip.

In 1950, my parents built a summer cottage on an acre they purchased in northern Westchester. The Town of Mohegan from the 1920s through the 1950s was a hot bed of radicals, socialists, and communists. On Forest Lane, our road, lived the president of the oxymoronic American Anarchist Party. On the corner was Zabar’s summer home, the founder of the still-famous Zabar’s Delicatessen in Manhattan. A few minutes away from us in Mohegan was Ben Gitlow, who received dubious semi-fame as a turncoat witness in the infamous McCarthy anti-communist hearings then taking place in Washington DC. It was a real hodgepodge in a tumultuous time. About two miles further west and on the Hudson River was Peekskill NY, then the northern home of the Ku Klux Klan.

What more logical person to invite to sing in Peekskill than Paul Robeson, the world-renowned opera singer. Robeson, a black man, had sung the lead role of the Moor, in Othello at the Met. An ardent Communist, he also sang in Moscow. This triggered the infamous Robeson riots, whose fires lit up the nighttime sky that we saw from our cottage.

Mohegan, a 59 minutes ride by train to Manhattan, was mainly a semi-rural summer community back then. When my father retired, they winterized the place and added a living room that I dubbed the ‘New York City room’ because they filled it with furniture from their 4-room apartment and then rarely used it. By the time my parents sold their Mohegan home in the late 1990s, and moved into senior living a mile from my home in Brookline MA, it was a year-round place. We decided to take the short detour and visit the old homestead. Len knew it well from many visits there.

I looked it up on Google maps and video, so I knew a different house was there now. We drove up, parked, and I rang the doorbell. A man around 60 opened the door. “Hello. Can I help you?” “I grew up in this house. I used to live here.” “Are you a Davis?” “Yes. You must have bought it from my parents.” “Indeed we did.” That was all that was needed, the spark that started an hour and a half visit.

Al and his wife Lisa took Len, Zuli and me on a detailed tour. We talked about the grounds. How they had to cut down many of the trees that were big, old and dangerous because they were too close to the house. My father and I planted one of those as a sapling our first summer there. How they cleared bush and expanded the backyard. How he was a carpenter and contractor, so he did all the building additions himself. He added a second floor, a garage, a screened porch, and reshuffled many of the interior walls. Nevertheless, the old place was still knowable to Len and me. The best part of it was that those who bought it from my folks still lived there, and they hadn’t torn down the old place but instead built on it. Our modest home, the site of my wedding to Bobbi on the very day of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, still stood. Len had been about eight back then; now he is forty-five.

¬The house visit, as an end to the cemetery trip, pumped us up even more. It was icing on the cake of memory.

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Sessions in Boston and NYC in September and October

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on July, 29, 2018

Loving Legacy Video - At Work

Loving Legacy Video will be doing interviews in Boston during the week of September 13th-20th and in NYC the week of October 14th-21st. We are currently scheduling interviews during those dates. Please share the service with friends, colleagues and family members who may be interested. The interviews are typically done in client homes and are conducted over the course of 1 day.

There’s lots of information, details, samples, and pricing throughout the pages of our website. Book now as the dates will fill up quickly. Best way to do so is by contacting us or calling 206-679-8381 to start the process. We look forward to working with you.

View samples of the work

Understand the process

Why Do A Loving Legacy Video? from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

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AgeWise King County Article Features Insights from Loving Legacy Video

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on July, 27, 2018

Vintage Family Black and White Photos from Agewise

Recently, I was contacted by AgeWise King County to contribute my thoughts to their article about ‘Leaving One’s Legacy’ based on my work interviewing elders. There are so many common themes that come up in Loving Legacy videos around a desire for people’s future generations to know those who came before them, to want people to know you in ways that you may not have previously shared, and to take the time to do this while one can.

“Another strategy for communicating your personal story is video. Len Davis, an award-winning commercial and personal videographer, films and facilitates autobiographical interviews with elders. People who seek his expertise fall into two categories—30- to 60-year-olds who notice their aging parents changing and losing some of their faculties and recognize that the window of opportunity for them to access the stories and information about their parents’ lives is closing; and 60- to 90-year-olds who want to capture their lived experience and share it with grandkids or future generations. They want to be able to reflect on their own lives as well as those of generations past.

“People are motivated to preserve their cultural history and their sense of identity,” says Davis. “They want to share where their family is from, the food they ate, the heirlooms that were passed down to them. Some people want to talk about their professional and civic accomplishments, or their lives in the military.” The video experience allows them to explore who they are and what they want others to know. Davis comments, “The videos have sometimes changed the relationship between adults and their elderly parents. This particular media and the recorded stories helped the ad

ult children understand their parents differently, with more knowledge and compassion.”

Clips from the videos have been used in memorial services and other life celebrations. People also can watch the video and enter a different relationship with their parents or with themselves. Davis says, “People don’t want to live with regret about what they didn’t share.”

AgeWise is a great local resource for elders who are active, connected and making a difference in King County.

Leaving Your Legacy

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Forest & Farmland Preservation in Western Washington – An Emerald Green Legacy

Posted by lovinglegacyvideo on July, 23, 2018

Bob Rose spent decades working with the WA Department of Natural Resources, The University of Washington and Washington State University, state and county government agencies laboring to preserve forest and farmland throughout Puget Sound and Western WA. His legacy will be a strong one, celebrated by not just his family who hired Loving Legacy Video to interview him and preserve his work, but also generations of future students, planners, politicans and others who will benefit from the vast areas of land he helped to preserve and protect. We began the interview at his home on Similk Bay and then visited various sites connected to his work in and around Anacortes including Mt Erie, a vista of Cypress Island, a farm in La Conner, and in the old growth forest around Heart Lake.

A Thousand Cups of Tea -Listening to All Sides from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

Saving Skagit Farmland- Lessons Learned from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

Old Growth Forest in Anacortes, WA from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

Finding Common Ground from Loving Legacy Video on Vimeo.

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